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Selected 
works of 
Jawaharlal 

Nehru 

Second Series 

3 




“So the story of Jawaharlal Nehru is that of a 
man who evolved, who grew in storm and 
stress till he became the representative of much 
that was noble in his time. It is the story of a 
generous and gracious human being who 
summed up in himself the resurgence of the 
"third world’ as well as the humanism which 
transcends dogmas and is adapted to the 
contemporary context. His achievement, by its 
very nature and setting, was much greater than 
that of a Prime Minister. And it is with the 
conviction that the life of this man is of 
importance not only to scholars but to all, in 
India and elsewhere, who are interested in the 
valour and compassion of the human spirit that 
the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund has 
decided to publish a series of volumes 
consisting of all that is significant in what 
Jawaharlal Nehru spoke and wrote.... the whole 
corpus should help to remind us of the quality 
and endeavour of one who was not only a 
leader of men and a lover of mankind, but a 
completely integrated human being.” 

Indira Gandhi 


Rs 200 






Selected 
works of 
Jawaharlal 
Nehru 



SPEAKING AT THE MIDNIGHT SESSION OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY, 
14 AUGUST 1947 



Selected 
works of 

Jawaharlal 

Nehru 


Second Series 


Volume Three 


A Project of the 
Jawaharlal Nehru 
Memorial Fund 


© 1985 

All rights reserved 

Enquiries regarding copyright to be 

addressed to the publishers 

PUBLISHED BY 

Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund 
Teen Murti House, New Delhi 110011 

DISTRIBUTED BY 

Oxford University Press 

YMCA Library Building, Jai Singh Road, New Delhi 1 10001 
Bombay Calcutta Madras 
Oxford New York Toronto 
Melbourne Tokyo Hong Kong 

PRINTED AT 

Indraprastha Press (CBT), 

4 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi 1 10002 


General Editor 


S. Gopal 




FOREWORD 


Jawaharlal Nehru is one of the key figures of the twentieth century. He 
symbolised some of the major forces which have transformed our age. 

When Jawaharlal Nehru was young, history was still the privilege of the 
West; the rest of the world lay in deliberate darkness. The impression given 
was that the! vast continents of Asia and Africa existed merely to sustain 
their masters in Europe and North America. Jawaharlal Nehru’s own 
education in Britain could be interpreted, in a sense, as an attempt to 
secure for him a place within the pale. His letters of the time are evidence 
of his sensitivity, his interest in science and international alfairs as well 
as of his pride in India and Asia. But his personality was veiled by his 
shyness and a facade of nonchalance, and perhaps outwardly there was 
not much to distinguish him from the ordinary run of men. Gradually 
there emerged the warm and universal being who became intensely involv- 
ed with the problems of the poor and the oppressed in all lands. In doing 
so, Jawaharlal Nehru gave articulation and leadership to millions of peo- 
ple in his own country and in Asia and Africa. 

That imperialism was a curse which should be lifted from the brows of 
men, that poverty was incompatible with civilisation, that nationalism 
should be poised on a sense of international community and that it was 
not sufficient to brood on these things when action was urgent and com- 
pelling — these were the principles which inspired and gave vitality to 
Jawaharlal Nehru’s activities in the years of India’s struggle for freedom 
and made him not only an intense nationalist but one of the leaders of 
humanism. 

No particular ideological doctrine could claim Jawaharlal Nehru for its 
own. Long days in jail were spent in reading widely. He drew much from 
the thought of the East and West and from the philosophies of the past 
and the present. Never religious in the formal sense, yet he had a deep 
love for the culture and tradition of his own land. Never a rigid Marxist, 
yet he was deeply influenced by that theory and was particularly impress- 
ed by what he saw in the Soviet Union on his first visit in 1927. However, 
he realised that the world was too complex, and man had too many facets, 
to be encompassed by any single or total explanation. He himself was a 
socialist with an abhorrence of regimentation and a democrat who was 
anxious to reconcile his faith in civil liberty with the necessity of mitigat- 
ing economic and social wretchedness. His struggles, both within himself 


and with the outside world, to adjust such seeming contradictions are 
what make his life and work significant and fascinating. 

As a leader of free India, Jawaharlal Nehru recognised that his country 
could neither stay out of the world nor divest itself of its own interests 
in world affairs. But to the extent that it was possible, Jawaharlal Nehru 
sought to speak objectively and to be a voice of sanity in the shrill phases 
of the ‘cold war’. Whether his influence helped on certain occasions to 
maintain peace is for the future historian to assess. What we do know 
is that for a long stretch of time he commanded an international audience 
reaching far beyond governments, that he spoke for ordinary, sensitive, 
thinking men and women around the globe and that his was a constituency 
which extended far beyond India. 

So the story of Jawaharlal Nehru is that of a man who evolved, who 
grew in storm and stress till he became the representative of much that 
wa9 noble in his time. It is the story of a generous and gracious human 
being who summed up in himself the resurgence ; of the ‘third world’ as 
well as the humanism which transcends dogmas and is adapted to the 
contemporary context. His achievement, by its very nature and setting, 
was much greater than that of a Prime Minister. And it is with the con- 
viction that the life of this man is of importance not only to scholars but 
to all, in India and elsewhere, who are interested in the valour and com- 
passion of the human spirit that the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund 
has decided to publish a series of volumes consisting of all that is significant 
in what Jawaharlal Nehru spoke and wrote. There is, as is to be expected 
in the speeches and writings of a man so engrossed in affairs and gifted 
with expression, much that is ephemeral; this will be omitted. The official 
letters and memoranda will also not find place here. But it is planned to 
include everything else and the whole corpus should help to remind us of 
the quality and endeavour of one who was not only a leader of men and 
a lover of mankind, but a completely integrated human being. 



New Delhi 


Chairman 


loranda will also not find place here. But it is planned to 
ing else and the whole corpus should help to remind us of 
endeavour of one who was not only a leader of men and 
kind, but a completely integrated human being. 


letters and mei 
include everyth 
the quality and 
a lover of mar 


EDITORIAL NOTE 


This volume covers the last weeks before the transfer of power, from 
2 June to 15 August 1947. 

On 2 June the Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, placed before the Congress 
and the Muslim League his plan conferring immediate Dominion Status 
on one or two successor authorities with a definite scheme for the partition 
of the country at the time of the transfer of power. There was an indica- 
tion of a notional partition or provisional boundaries and the possible 
partition of Bengal and the Punjab. The plan also included a proposal for 
a referendum in the North West Frontier Province. 

The Working Committee welcomed the decision of the British Govern- 
ment, though to Nehru, like many others, separation of a part of India 
from the rest was painful to contemplate. Nor did Dominion Status appear 
at that time as anything more than an interim arrangement. The Muslim 
League, stressing that partition was the only solution of India’s problem, 
accepted the principles of the plan even while complaining that the plan 
fell far short of its demand. 

To facilitate the process of partition, a partition committee represen- 
tative of the two parties, commissions for detailed investigation of boundary 
questions with Cyril Radclifle as the chairman with the decisive voice, 
and an arbitral tribunal to make awards in respect of the division of 
assets and liabilities between India and Pakistan were set up. 

The Indian Independence Bill was passed on 4 July. It provided for the 
setting up of two new independent Dominions — India and Pakistan — 
after August 15, 1947. The wording of this Bill caused concern to 
Mahatma Gandhi, who feared that it would grant recognition to the two- 
nation theory; but Nehru saw in this a means of holding the old India 
together and enabling other ties to develop. Meanwhile, communal vio- 
lence broke out in Lahore, Calcutta and some other parts of India and 
large-scale migrations across the proposed lines of partition followed. 

Nehru had agreed to a referendum in the N.W.F.P., as in Sylhet, and 
urged Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Khan Sahib to abandon the idea of 
Pathanistan and vote for accession to India or Pakistan. But the provin- 
cial Congress decided to abstain with the result that a hairline majority 
was obtained in favour of Pakistan. 

The Congress was also greatly concerned at this time about the Indian 
States. The policy of the Political Department seemed to be inspired by 


the deliberate intent of fragmenting the unity of India. Nehru was prepa- 
red to thwart this even by using force if necessary; and the A.I.C.C. 
approved his strong line and asserted that it could not admit the right 
of any State in India to declare its independence and live in isolation 
from the rest of India. Most States acceded before 15 August to one of 
the two Dominions. Yet, taking advantage of the vagueness in the Indian 
Independence Act which appeared to give the Princes freedom to accede 
to either Dominion or to become independent, Hyderabad sought to secure 
an access to the sea, while Travancorc declared that it would assume 
sovereignty on 15 August, nominated a representative at Delhi and appoin- 
ted an agent to Pakistan. 

In Kashmir Sheikh Abdullah and many of his colleagues remained in 
prison. So Nehru planned to go there again but Mountbatten dissuaded 
him. Mahatma Gandhi and Mountbatten went instead; but the Maharaja 
continued to evade taking a decision on accession to either India or 
Pakistan. 

The broad outlines of free India's future policies — both internal and 
external — could also be discerned during these months- It was decided to 
appoint a planning commission to develop industry, to introduce land 
reforms and to Indianizc the civil and defence services. In foreign 
relations, India emphasized her desire not to be entangled in power 
politics and rival blocs and to try to be friendly with all nations. She 
condemned Dutch aggression in Indonesia and took Indonesia’s case to 
the Security Council. 

The Nehru Memorial Library has kindly provided access 

to the papers of Jawaharlal Nehru and other relevant collections 
in its custody. Shrimati Indira Gandhi made available to us a large 
number of documents in her possession; these papers arc referred to in the 
footnotes as the J.N. Collection. The Controller of Her Majesty’s Statio- 
nery Office in London has permitted reprinting of some documents pub- 
lished in volumes XI and XII of The Transfer of Power 1942-7. The India 
Office Library in London and the John Rylands University Library of 
Manchester have allowed the printing of some material in their possession. 
So too have the President’s and Prime Minister's Secretariats, the 
Ministry of Law and the National Archives of India. A few items in 
Sardar Patels Correspondence, John Connell's Auchinleck, Pyarelal's 
Mahatma Gandhi — The Last Phase, Vol. 2, V.P. Menon’s The Transfer 
of Power in India and Foreign Relations of the United States 1947 
(published by the Department of State) have also been included. 

The Hindustan Times, Hindusthan Standard , The Statesman, The 
Hindu, National Herald and Amrita Bazar Patrika have allowed us to 
reprint the texts of speeches and statements published by them. 


Shrimati Bela Devi Nayar and Shrimati Sushila Nayar were kind 
enough to give us permission to consult Pyarclal's papers. Some letters 
from this collection, which chronologically belong to earlier volumes, have 
been included in the Appendix. 
























1 

2 

3 

4 

5 

6 

7 

8 

9 

10 

11 

12 

13 

14 

15 

16 

17 

18 

19 

20 

21 

22 

23 

24 

25 


CONTENTS 


1. The Interim Government 


Status Quo on Policy 
Decisions 

To Vallabhbhai Patel 
Interview with Henry F. 
Grady 

To C. Rajagopalachari 
To Lord Mountbatten 
To Lord Mountbatten 
To Vallabhbhai Patel 
To Ahmad Nawaz Khan 
To Lord Mountbatten 
The Reconstitution of the 
Interim Government 
The Governor-Generalship 
of India 

Issues to be Clarified by the 
Working Committee 
To Lord Mountbatten 
To Lord Mountbatten 
To the Secretary, Health 
Department 

To the Prime Ministers of 
Provinces 

To O. P. Ramaswami Reddiar 
To Vallabhbhai Patel 
To Lord Mountbatten 
To Lord Mountbatten 
To Lord Mountbatten 
To Lord Mountbatten 
To Vallabhbhai Patel 
To Lord Mountbatten 
To Syed Ali Zaheer 


7 June 

1947 

1 

24 June 

1947 

1 

27 June 

1947 

2 

28 June 

1947 

3 

2 July 

1947 

5 

4 July 

1947 

6 

5 July 

1947 

6 

7 July 

1947 

7 

7 July 

1947 

7 

8 July 

1947 

8 

9 July 

1947 

9 

15 July 

1947 

11 

19 July 

1947 

15 

19 July 

1947 

17 

20 July 

1947 

17 

21 July 

1947 

19 

25 July 

1947 

20 

27 July 

1947 

20 

27 July 

1947 

21 

28 July 

1947 

22 

28 July 

1947 

23 

29 July 

1947 

24 

30 July 

1947 

25 

31 July 

1947 

25 

1 August 

1947 

26 


26 

27 

28 

29 

30 

31 

32 

33 

34 

35 

36 

37 

38 

39 

40 

41 

42 

43 

44 

45 

46 

47 

48 

49 

50 

51 

1 

2 

3 

4 


To Vallabhbhai Patel 

1 August 

1947 

27 

Circular to Governors 
Designate 

1 August 

1947 

27 

To Jagjivan Ram 

1 August 

1947 

28 

To John Matthai 

1 August 

1947 

28 

To Abul Kalam Azad 

1 August 

1947 

29 

The Constitution of the New 
Cabinet 

1 August 

1947 

30 

Mountbatten’s Note of 
Interview with Nehru 

2 August 

1947 

30 

To Sudhir Ghosh 

3 August 

1947 

32 

To V.K. Krishna Menon 

3 August 

1947 

33 

Personal Telegram to Abdur 
Rahman 

3 August 

1947 

35 

To Lord Mountbatten 

4 August 

1947 

35 

To Vallabhbhai Patel 

4 August 

1947 

36 

The Policy of Free India 

4 August 

1947 

36 

To Lord Mountbatten 

5 August 

1947 

38 

To Lord Mountbatten 

5 August 

1947 

39 

To Lord Mountbatten 

6 August 

1947 

40 

To Lord Mountbatten 

6 August 

1947 

41 

To Vallabhbhai Patel 

6 August 

1947 

42 

To Vallabhbhai Patel 

7 August 

1947 

43 

To Lord Mountbatten 

10 August 

1947 

44 

To Vallabhbhai Patel 

10 August 

1947 

44 

To Vallabhbhai Patel 

12 August 

1947 

45 

The National Flag 

12 August 

1947 

46 

Message on the Departure of 
British Troops 

13 August 

1947 

47 

The New Cabinet 

14 August 

1947 

48 

The Appointed Day 

15 August 

1947 

49 


2. 

The Framing of the Constitution 

A Federal Constitution 

7 June 

1947 

53 

To the President. Constituent 
Assembly of India 

5 July 

1947 

53 

To the President, Constituent 
Assembly of India 

13 July 

1947 

56 

58 

Amendment of the Rules 

15 July 

1947 


5 The Provincial Constitution 

6 On the Report of the Union 
Constitution Committee 

7 The Principles of the Union 
Constitution 

8 On the Mode of Election of 
the President 

9 The National Flag 

10 To J.B. Kripalani 

11 The Qualification of Age foi 
the President 

12 The President's Term and 
Provision for Impeachment 

13 The Emoluments of the 
President 

14 A Five-Year Term for the 
President 

15 The Mode of Electing the 
President 

16 To Rajendra Prasad 

17 The Mode of Appointment 
of Prime Minister and 
Council of Ministers 

18 To Rajendra Prasad 

19 To H.V.R. Iengar 

20 To H.V.R. Iengar 


1 Letter from the Congress 
President to Lord 
Mountbatten 

2 Mountbatten’s Discussions 
with Indian Leaders 

3 On the New Constitutional 
Proposals 

4 To Liaquat Ali Khan 

5 To Lord Mountbatten 

6 To Lord Mountbatten 

7 To Lord Mountbatten 


15 July 

1947 

59 

18 July 

1947 

60 

21 July 

1947 

61 

21 July 

1947 

63 

22 July 

1947 

66 

23 July 

1947 

73 

24 July 

1947 

75 

24 July 

1947 

76 

24 July 

1947 

77 

24 July 

1947 

79 

24 July 

1947 

80 

27 July 

1947 

83 

28 July 

1947 

83 

4 August 

1947 

85 

5 August 

1947 

86 

12 August 

1947 

87 


3. 

The Transfer of Power 

2 June 

1947 

91 

2 June 

1947 

94 

3 June 

1947 

98 

3 June 

1947 

100 

3 June 

1947 

101 

4 June 

1947 

102 

7 June 

1947 

103 


8 

To Lord Mountbatten 

10 

June 

1947 

104 

9 

On the British Statement of 
3 June 1947 

13 

June 

1947 

106 

10 

The Unavoidability of 
Partition 

15 

June 

1947 

110 

11 

Telegram to Secretary of 
State 

17 

June 

1947 

114 

12 

To G.T. Vazirani 

19 

June 

1947 

114 

13 

To Lord Ismay 

22 

June 

1947 

115 

14 

To Lord Mountbatten 

26 

June 

1947 

116 

15 

To Lord Mountbatten 

28 

June 

1947 

118 

16 

To Lord Mountbatten 

29 

J* ne 

1947 

119 

17 

To Lord Mountbatten 

30 

June 

1947 

120 

18 

Mountbatten’s Record of 
Talks with Nehru and Patel 

2 

July 

1947 

121 

19 

Comments of Congress on 
the Draft Independence Bill 

3 

July 

1947 

122 

20 

Comments of Congress on 
the League’s Comments on 
the Draft Independence Bill 

4 

July 

1947 

128 

21 

To Lord Ismay 

5 

July 

1947 

130 

22 

To Lord Mountbatten 

5 

July 

1947 

130 

23 

Note on the Draft Indian 
Independence Bill 

5 

July 

1947 

131 

24 

To Jayaprakash Narayan 

5 

July 

1947 

132 

25 

A Monroe Doctrine for Asia 

9 

August 

1947 

133 

26 

A Tryst with Destiny 14- 

-15 

August 

1947 

135 

27 

Face the New Tasks with 
Determination 

15 

August 

1947 

137 



4. 

The Consequences of 1 

Partition 

1 

The Administrative 
Consequences of Partition 

5 June 

1947 

141 

2 

To Lord Mountbatten 

5 June 

1947 

145 

3 

To Lord Mountbatten 

6 June 

1947 

146 

4 

To M. Chalapathi Rau 

6 June 

1947 

147 

5 

Envoy to Russia 

6 June 

1947 

149 

6 

Authority for Arranging 
Partition 

7 June 

1947 

149 


7 Telegram to Asaf Ali 

8 To Lord Mountbatten 

9 To Lord Mountbatten 

10 To Lord Mountbatten 

11 Terms of Reference for 
Boundary Commissions 

12 Composition of Boundary 
Commissions 

13 To VaUabhbhai Patel 

14 To Sultan Shahrir 

15 To Lord Mountbatten 

16 To S.A. Brelvi 

17 To J.B. Kripalanl 

18 To Lord Mountbatten 

19 To Lord Mountbatten 

20 To Lord Mountbatten 

21 To Lord Mountbatten 

22 To Lord Mountbatten 

23 To Baldev Singh 

24 To Baldev Singh 

25 To John Matthai 

26 To Lord Mountbatten 

27 To Lord Mountbatten 

28 To Lord Mountbatten 

29 To Lord Mountbatten 


1 To Lord Mountbatten 

2 Mountbatten’s Note on His 
Talks with Nehru 

3 Conduct of Officials at 
Lahore 

4 Telegram to Akbar Hydarl 

5 Telegram to Akbar Hydari 

6 To Lord Mountbatten 

7 To S.A. Brelvi 

8 To Perin Captain 

9 To the Maharaja of 
Bharatpur 


7 June 

1947 

150 

10 June 

1947 

151 

12 June 

1947 

152 

12 June 

1947 

153 

12 June 

1947 

154 

13 June 

1947 

155 

14 June 

1947 

156 

17 June 

1947 

156 

24 June 

1947 

160 

26 June 

1947 

161 

6 July 

1947 

161 

7 July 

1947 

162 

13 July 

1947 

163 

19 July 

1947 

164 

21 July 

1947 

165 

21 July 

1947 

166 

21 July 

1947 

169 

22 July 

1947 

170 

23 July 

1947 

171 

25 July 

1947 

173 

27 July 

1947 

174 

9 August 

1947 

175 

13 August 

1947 

175 


5. Communal Riots 


22 June 

1947 

179 

24 June 

1947 

182 

25 June 

1947 

183 

13 July 

1947 

183 

15 July 

1947 

184 

15 July 

1947 

185 

22 July 

1947 

186 

22 July 

1947 

187 

28 July 

1947 

187 


10 

11 

12 

13 

14 

15 

1 

2 

3 

4 

5 

6 

7 

8 

9 

10 

11 

12 

13 

14 

15 

16 

17 

18 

19 

20 

21 

22 

23 


To Kiran Sankar Roy 

1 August 

1947 

188 

To Lord Mountbatten 

4 August 

1947 

188 

To Rajendra Prasad 

7 August 

1947 

189 

To Lord Mountbatten 

8 August 

1947 

192 

Telegram to Liaquat Ali 
Khan 

9 August 

1947 

193 

Hindustani a Symbol of 
Synthesis 

12 August 

1947 

193 


6. The Integration of States 


To Begum Abdullah 

4 June 

1947 

197 

To Lord Mountbatten 
The States and the 

4 June 

1947 

198 

Constituent Assembly 

5 June 

1947 

200 

To Baldev Singh 

9 June 

1947 

201 

To C.H. Bhabha 

9 June 

1947 

202 

To John Matthai 

9 June 

1947 

203 

To Lord Mountbatten 

9 June 

1947 

204 

To Lord Mountbatten 

9 June 

1947 

207 

To Lord Mountbatten 

9 June 

1947 

209 

To Baldev Singh 
Mountbatten’s Record of 
Interview with Nehru, Patel 

10 June 

1947 

209 

and Kripalani 

Misfeasance of the Political 

10 June 

1947 

211 

Department 

Indian States and British 

13 June 

1947 

213 

Paramountcy 

15 June 

1947 

217 

To Lord Mountbatten 

16 June 

1947 

220 

A Note on Kashmir 

17 June 

1947 

222 

To Lord Ismay 

19 June 

1947 

229 

Paramountcy and the States 

19 June 

1947 

232 

To the Maharaja of Indore 

21 June 

1947 

235 

To P. Subbaroyan 

21 June 

1947 

236 

To Lord Mountbatten 

22 June 

1947 

238 

To the Maharaja of Bikaner 

24 June 

1947 

239 

To K.M. Panikkar 

24 June 

1947 

240 

To Lord Ismay 

25 June 

1947 

240 


24 

25 

26 

27 

28 

29 

30 

31 

32 

33 

34 

35 

36 

37 

38 

39 

40 

41 

42 

43 

44 

45 

46 

47 

48 

49 

50 

1 

2 

3 


Congress Draft of 


“Standstill” Agreement 

25 June 

1947 

241 

To Rajendra Prasad 

25 June 

1947 

245 

To Rajendra Prasad 

27 June 

1947 

245 

To Lord Mountbatten 

28 June 

1947 

246 

To Vallabhbhai Patel 
States Cannot Be Allowed 

30 June 

1947 

246 

Independent Status 

1 July 

1947 

247 

Telegram to M.K. Vellodi 

4 July 

1947 

252 

To the Maharaja of Kashmir 

4 July 

1947 

253 

To G.P. Hutheesing 

5 July 

1947 

254 

To the Maharaja of Manipur 

7 July 

1947 

255 

To the Maharaja of Samthar 
To N. Gopalaswami 

7 July 

1947 

255 

Ayyangar 

7 July 

1947 

256 

To Vallabhbhai Patel 

9 July 

1947 

256 

To G.P. Hutheesing 

14 July 

1947 

257 

To Hiralal Shastri 
On His Resignation from 

14 July 

1947 

259 

the Standing Committee 

19 July 

1947 

260 

The Future of Gilgit 

19 July 

1947 

261 

To the Maharaja of Patiala 

25 July 

1947 

263 

To the Maharaja of Patiala 

25 July 

1947 

263 

To Lord Mountbatten 

27 July 

1947 

264 

To Mahatma Gandhi 

28 July 

1947 

265 

To Mahatma Gandhi 
The Projected Visit to 

28 July 

1947 

266 

Kashmir 

29 July 

1947 

266 

To Hiralal Shastri 

5 August 

1947 

267 

To Begum Abdullah 

8 August 

1947 

267 

To Vallabhbhai Patel 

13 August 

1947 

268 

To the Maharaja of Cochin 

14 August 

1947 

269 



7. The North 

West Frontier Province 

Note on the Situation 

in the 


N.W.F.P. 

8 June 

1947 273 

To Mahatma Gandhi 

9 June 

1947 279 

The Approach to the 
Referendum 

13 June 

1947 279 


4 

To Eric Mieville 

15 June 

1947 

281 

5 

Mountbatten’s Note on 
Interview with Nehru 

24 June 

1947 

282 

6 

To Eric Mieville 

25 June 

1947 

285 

7 

To Mahatma Gandhi 

30 June 

1947 

286 

8 

To Khan Sahib 

30 June 

1947 

286 

9 

To Abdul Ghaffar Khan 

30 June 

1947 

287 

10 

On Propaganda by 
Afghanistan 

4 July 

1947 

291 

11 

To Khan Sahib 

5 July 

1947 

292 

12 

Mountbatten’s Note on 
Interview with Nehru 

8 July 

1947 

292 




8. 

Defence Policy 

1 

To Padma Shamsher Jung 
Bahadur Rana 

14 June 

1947 

297 

2 

Interviews with Field Marshal 

Lord Montgomery 23/24 June 

1947 

297 

3 

To Field Marshal Lord 
Montgomery 

24 June 

1947 

306 

4 

To Lord Mountbatten 

5 July 

1947 

306 

5 

To Lord Mountbatten 

11 July 

1947 

307 

6 

Arthur Smith’s Note on 
Interview with Nehru 

13 July 

1947 

309 

7 

To Lord Mountbatten 

14 July 

1947 

311 

8 

To Lord Mountbatten 

14 July 

1947 

312 

9 

To Baldev Singh 

14 July 

1947 

312 

10 

To Baldev Singh 

19 July 

1947 

313 

11 

Symon’s Report on Interview 
with Nehru 

21 July 

1947 

314 

12 

To Baldev Singh 

25 July 

1947 

315 

13 

To Lord Mountbatten 

26 July 

1947 

316 

14 

To Lord Mountbatten 

26 July 

1947 

318 

15 

To Lord Mountbatten 

28 July 

1947 

319 

16 

On the Proposed Transfer of 
Gurkha Battalions 

1 August 

1947 

320 

17 

The Gurkha Regiments in 
India 

13 August 

1947 

320 

18 

To R.M.M. Lockhart 

15 August 

1947 

321 


9. The I.N.A. Prisoners 


1 To Lord Mountbatten 

2 To Lord Mountbatten 


1 India for Universal Freedom 

2 To Asaf Ali 

3 To Sudhir Ghosh 

4 To Vijayalakshmi Pandit 

5 Full Support to the United 
Nations 

6 To Lord Mountbatten 

7 To Abdur Rahman 

8 To Robin Mirrlees 

9 Telegram to Edward Atiyah 

10 To V.V. Giri 

11 Telegram to Asaf Ali 

12 To V.K. Krishna Menon 

13 To J.B. Kripalani 

14 To Tej Bahadur Sapru 

15 Mountbatten’s Note on 
Interview with Nehru 

16 To Lord Mountbatten 


1 To Amir Sharifoeddin 

2 An Impartial Tribunal for 
Indonesia 

3 Cable to Lord Listowel 


19 July 

1947 

325 

24 July 

1947 

326 


10. 

India in World Affairs 


1 . 

General 

12 June 

1947 

329 

18 June 

1947 

330 

20 June 

1947 

332 

23 June 

1947 

334 

26 June 

1947 

336 

30 June 

1947 

336 

10 July 

1947 

337 

14 July 

1947 

338 

18 July 

1947 

339 

20 July 

1947 

339 

22 July 

1947 

340 

22 July 

1947 

341 

25 July 

1947 

344 

27 July 

1947 

346 

29 July 

1947 

347 

10 August 

1947 

350 

10. 

India in World Affairs 


II. Indonesia 

6 July 

1947 

355 

8 July 

1947 

358 

8 July 

1947 

359 


4 

5 

6 

7 

8 

9 

10 

11 

12 

13 

14 

15 

16 

17 

18 

19 

1 

2 

3 

4 

5 

6 

7 

8 

9 

10 

11 

12 

13 

14 


Cable to Lord Listowel 

18 

July 

1947 

360 

Cable to Lord Listowel 

22 

July 

1947 

361 

Cable to V.K. Krishna Menon 
On Dutch Aggression in 

22 

July 

1947 

362 

Indonesia 

24 

July 

1947 

363 

Cable to V.K. Krishna Menon 

25 

July 

1947 

364 

Cable to V.K. Krishna Menon 

26 

July 

1947 

366 

Cable to V.K. Krishna Menon 

28 

July 

1947 

366 

The War in Indonesia 

28 

July 

1947 

367 

Cable to V.K. Krishna Menon 
Cable to President of 

29 

July 

1947 

377 

Security Council 

29 

July 

1947 

378 

Cable to V.K. Krishna Menon 

30 

July 

1947 

378 

Cable to V.K. Krishna Menon 

31 

July 

1947 

379 

Cable to V.K. Krishna Menon 

31 

July 

1947 

379 

Cable to Asaf Ali 

3 

August 

1947 

381 

Cable to Shahrir 

9 

August 

1947 

381 

Cable to V.K. Krishna Menon 

11 

August 

1947 

382 


10. India in World Affairs 
III. Other Countries 


Telegram to Aung San 7 

To B.C. Roy 20 

To J.C. Smuts 24 

To Sudhir Ghosh 25 

To Mrs. Paul Robeson 26 

Free India Desires Closer 
Ties with the United States 4 

To Terence Shone 8 

Henry Grady’s Record of 
Interview with Nehru 9 

To Albert Einstein 11 

To C.R. Attlee 11 

Quatorze Juillet 13 

Cable to Emmanuel Cellar 18 

Death of Aung San 19 

Cable to Thakin Nu 20 


June 

1947 

385 

June 

1947 

385 

June 

1947 

387 

June 

1947 

388 

June 

1947 

389 

July 

1947 

390 

July 

1947 

391 

July 

1947 

392 

July 

1947 

393 

July 

1947 

396 

July 

1947 

397 

July 

1947 

397 

July 

1947 

398 

July 

1947 

399 


15 On the Assassination of 
Aung San 

16 To Ahmad Qavam 

17 To J.C. Smuts 

18 Cable to C.R. Attlee 


1 Cable to Aung San 

2 To S. Somasundaram 

3 Message from Free India 

4 Greetings to “Indian 
Opinion” 


20 July 

1947 

399 

2 August 

1947 

399 

7 August 

1947 

400 

11 August 

1947 

401 


11. 

Indians Overseas 

16 June 

1947 

405 

7 July 

1947 

405 

11 August 

1947 

406 

12 August 

1947 

407 


12. Foreign Possessions in India 


1 To O.P. Ramaswami Reddiar 

2 The Future of the French 
and Portuguese Settlements 

3 Agitation in the French 
Possessions 


1 To C.H. Bhabha 

2 To C. Rajagopalachari 

3 To C.H. Bhabha 


23 June 

1947 

411 

27 June 

1947 

411 

8 August 

1947 

412 


13. Science and Technology 


20 June 

1947 

417 

26 June 

1947 

418 

28 June 

1947 

419 


14. Miscellaneous 


1 To Akbar Hydari 


6 June 


1947 


423 


2 To Kishen Prasad Dar 

3 To N.S. Hardikar 

4 To Rukmini Devi 

5 Annie Besant 

6 To Sri Prakasa 

7 To Horace Alexander 

8 On the Importance of Trees 

9 To Mahatma Gandhi 

10 The Congress in Bengal 

1 1 To John Matthai 

12 The Congress Seva Dal 

13 Delhi 

14 Two Alternatives before the 
Congress 

15 Women and the National 
Struggle 


1 

To Indira Nehru 

2 

To Indira Nehru 

3 

To Indira Nehru 

4 

To Indira Nehru 

5 

To Indira Nehru 

6 

To Indira Nehru 

7 

To Indira Nehru 

8 

To Indira Nehru 

9 

To Indira Nehru 

10 

To Indira Nehru 

11 

To Indira Nehru 

12 

To Indira Nehru 

13 

To Indira Nehru 

14 

To Indira Nehru 

15 

To Indira Nehru 

16 

To Indira Nehru 

17 

To Indira Nehru 

18 

To Indira Nehru 

19 

To Indira Nehru 

20 

To Mahatma Gandhi 

21 

To Mahatma Gandhi 


26 June 

1947 

423 

26 June 

1947 

424 

26 June 

1947 

424 

26 June 

1947 

425 

28 June 

1947 

425 

14 July 

1947 

426 

20 July 

1947 

427 

24 July 

1947 

427 

25 July 

1947 

428 

29 July 

1947 

429 

30 July 

1947 

429 

10 August 

1947 

430 

1 1 August 

1947 

431 


1947 

432 



15. Appendix 

9 January 

1938 

437 

14 January 

1938 

438 

24 January 

1938 

441 

29 January 

1938 

443 

7 February 

1938 

449 

12 February 

1938 

452 

27 February 

1938 

452 

2 March 

1938 

453 

9 March 

1938 

455 

11 March 

1938 

456 

15 March 

1938 

458 

27 March 

1938 

462 

8 April 

1938 

463 

13 April 

1938 

464 

30 April 

1938 

465 

4 May 

1938 

466 

21 May 

1938 

469 

10 December 

1938 

470 

22 December 

1938 

471 

27 February 

1942 

474 

27 June 

1945 

476 


22 

23 

24 

25 

26 

27 

28 

29 

30 

31 

32 

33 

34 

35 

36 

37 

38 

39 

40 

41 

42 

43 


To Mahatma Gandhi 30 

To N.S. Hardikar 3 

To Mahatma Gandhi 14 

To Mahatma Gandhi 30 

To Lord Pethick-Lawrence 8 

To Mahatma Gandhi 9 

Telegram to Mahatma 
Gandhi 18 

To Mahatma Gandhi 20 

To Mahatma Gandhi 20 

To Rajkumari Amrit Kaur 12 

Note on Defence 12 

To Mahatma Gandhi 4 

To the Nawab of Bhopal 10 

To Mahatma Gandhi 11 

Telegram to Mahatma 
Gandhi 8 

Telegram to Mahatma 
Gandhi 1 

To Mahatma Gandhi 18 

To Mahatma Gandhi 9 

To Mahatma Gandhi 21 

To Mahatma Gandhi 23 

To Julian S. Huxley 14 

To Mahatma Gandhi 19 


July 

1945 

476 

December 

1945 

479 

January 

1946 

479 

January 

1946 

480 

April 

1946 

481 

July 

1946 

484 

July 

1946 

485 

July 

1946 

485 

August 

1946 

486 

September 

1946 

487 

September 

1946 

488 

October 

1946 

493 

October 

1946 

493 

October 

1946 

494 

November 

1946 

495 

January 

1947 

495 

January 

1947 

495 

February 

1947 

496 

February 

1947 

497 

April 

1947 

498 

May 

1947 

499 

May 

1947 

500 



































































lh.m: ■ •• •• \l . u 

;v ' f £ * 




ILLUSTRATIONS 


Speaking at the midnight session of the 
Constituent Assembly, 14 August 1947 

At the Constituent Assembly, 14 August 1947 
Midnight session of the Constituent 

Assembly, 14 August 1947 between 

Presenting the National Flag to the 
Constituent Assembly, 22 July 1947 
With Lord Mountbatten and Rajendra Prasad, 

14-15 August 1947 

At the Conference of Leaders with 
Lord Mountbatten, 2 June 1947 
At the A.I.C.C. session, New Delhi, 

14 June 1947 

First draft of speech at the midnight 
session of the Constituent Assembly 

Voting for partition, A.I.C.C. session, 

New Delhi, 15 June 1947 
With Mahatma Gandhi at Hardwar, 

25 June 1947 

At the A.I.C.C. session. New Delhi, 

15 June 1947 

With Field Marshal Lord Montgomery, 

New Delhi, 23 June 1947 

Signing an air agreement between 
India and France, 16 July 1947 
With Henry Grady, United States 
Ambassador, 27 June 1947 


frontispiece 
pp. 64-65 

80-81 

96-97 

136-137 

192-193 

304-305 

400-401 





. :• 1 , i:; - ;<ru !i >q-:’ - 











. 

V HT mil tt 'MkQ mte' 


• 


ABBREVIATIONS 


A.F.R. Committee 

Armed Forces Reorganisation 
Committee 

A.I.C.C. 

All India Congress Committee 

B.B.C. 

British Broadcasting Corporation 

C.A. 

Constituent Assembly 

C.P. 

Central Provinces 

E.A.D. 

External Affairs Department 

E.C.A.F.E. 

Economic Commission for Asia and 
Far East 

G.H.Q. 

General Headquarters 

H.M.D. 

Honourable Member for Defence 

H.M.G. 

His Majesty’s Government 

I.O.L.R. 

India Office Library and Records 

I.C.S. 

Indian Civil Service 

I.M.S. 

Indian Medical Service 

I.N.A. 

Indian National Army 

K.L.M. 

Royal Dutch Airlines 

M.L.A. 

Member of Legislative Assembly 

N.E. Frontier 

North East Frontier 

N.M.M.L. 

Nehru Memorial Museum and 
Library 

N.W.F.P. 

North West Frontier Province 

N.W.R. 

North West Railway 

P.&.O 

Peninsular and Oriental Steamship 
Company 

P.C.C. 

Provincial Congress Committee 

P.M.S. 

Prime Minister’s Secretariat 

P.W.D. 

Public Works Department 

R.I.A.F. 

Royal Indian Air Force 

R.I.N. 

Royal Indian Navy 

T.V.A. 

Tennesse Valley Authority 

T.W.A. 

Trans World Airlines 

U.N.E.S.C.O. 

United Nations Educational, 
Scientific and Cultural Organisation 

U.P. 

United Provinces 

W.M.P. Department 

Works, Mines and Power 
Department 


: - or? ; 


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THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 













THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 


1. Status Quo on Policy Decisions 1 


In view of impending changes and the possibility of a reconstruction of 
Government in the near future, 2 the Cabinet does not consider it desirable 
for any decision to be taken, even on a Departmental level, which might 
injuriously affect a particular part of India. During the interim period of 
the next few weeks therefore, as far as possible, no such decisions should 
be taken which involve matters of policy, appointments and expenditure 
of funds. It is not intended to affect in any way the routine business of 
any Department or to delay decisions in regard to any matter which may 
be considered important. Any such urgent matters involving policy or ap- 
pointments should be referred to the Cabinet, even though normally they 
are not considered Cabinet matters. 

1. Note, 7 June 1947. External Affairs Department File No. l(l)-FSP/47, 
Appendix I, National Archives of India. 

2. The impending changes refer to the redistribution of portfolios in the Inte- 
rim Government with the intent of creating two separate governments, one 
for India and one for Pakistan, on 19 July 1947. 


2. To Vallabhbhai Patel 1 

New Delhi 
24 June 1947 


My dear Vallabhbhai, 

The question of retaining or removing controls 2 has been repeatedly dis- 
cussed. The subject is obviously of the most vital importance affecting 
vast numbers of persons. The present situation is decidedly unsatisfactory. 
At the same time there is obvious risk in taking a new step which might 
lead to far-rcaching consequences. 1 should like myself to give full thought 


1. 

2 . 


I.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. . 

The discussions, based on the result of the investigat.ons earned out by a 
special committee to study the problem ot shortage, were held in New Delhi 
between the Industries and Supplies Department and the Industries Committee 
of the Textile Control Board on the shortage of textile product, on in India. 
The Government of India would review the issue of controls in the light o 
those discussions. 


i 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


to every aspect of this question. I have plenty of material in favour of 
continuing controls. The latest of these papers is a note by the Commo- 
dities Prices Board which has built up a recent argument. I have been 
trying to get some note or essay presenting the other side of the case, 
that is for the discontinuance of controls. I have so far been unable to 
find it. Could you suggest to me where I can get this? Or perhaps you 
could ask someone to write it so that some of us, who arc laymen, 
can have both aspects of the question properly stated before us. This 
would help me greatly in coming to a decision. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


3 Interview with Henry F. Grady 1 


I called on Nehru at E.A.D. today. Chief points in his remarks to me 
were: 

1. The present government will continue in office except for those 
Members who are Muslim Leaguers and will resign to join Pakistan. 
He emphasized continuity of government in “India” and referred to 
Pakistan as having seceded with the approval of India because India 
does not wish to force it to remain. 

2. His government has asked British to retain Mountbatten as Gov- 
ernor-General for both India and Pakistan. Nehru said there was of 
course no assurance Pakistan w'ould be agreeable though he seemed not 
without hope. 

1. U.S. Ambassador’s report to the Secretary of State, New Delhi, 27 June 1947. 
Foreign Relations of the United States J947, Vol. Ill, p. 157. Hcnery F. 
Grady had assumed charge of the Embassy on the evening of 25 June. 

Henry Francis Grady (1882-1957); U.S. trade commissioner to Britain and 
Europe to report on postwar financial conditions, 1919-20; Vice-Chairman, U.S. 
TarifT Commission, 1937-39; Assistant Secretary of State, August 1939-January 
1941; head of the American Technical Mission to India. March 1942; American 
Ambassador to India. 1947-48, to Greece, 1948-50, and to Iran, 1950. 


2 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 


3. Nehru said he hoped India would receive expert assistance from 
U.S.A. but was not specific regarding projects. He stated government 
has a number of projects which he will later take up with me. He feels 
and I agree that little can be done for six weeks or two months. 

4. Only comment regarding Mrs. Pandit was that her mission was 
a “difficult one”. 2 

5. Nehru was very cordial throughout conversation. 

2. Vijayalakshmi Pandit had been appointed Indian Ambassador to the 
Soviet Union. 


4. To C. Rajagopalachari 1 

New Delhi 
28 June 1947 

My dear Rajaji, 

Thank you for your letter of the 28th June sending me a note 2 on cloth 
and yam control. I have read this note carefully. 1 am afraid I do not 
find it very convincing. The question is too intricate a one for me to 
venture a final opinion. But the impression I get from the note is that 
it represents rather the industrialists’ viewpoint. With decontrol of cloth, 
prices will certainly rise to begin with and very probably there will be 
extreme scarcity in some areas. We may have demonstrations by semi- 
naked men and women from the villages. Labour will become restive, 
even more than at present, when it cannot get cloth at the present prices. 
There will be an impression that all this has been done for the benefit 
of the industrialists, more especially as no attempt is made to control 
profits. Demands for an increase in wages will follow. 

2. These are some obvious reactions which may or may not have 
much force. I have little doubt, however, that while on the one side there 
will be appreciation of the removal of control, on the other there will be 
very strong criticism. 

1. File No. 26(46) /48-PMS. 

2. Not available. 


3 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


3. It is true that textile control orders were not designed as an integ- 
ral part of a policy of planned economic reconstruction. Nevertheless 
controls are an essential part of planned economy. Probably we shall have 
to consider this planning business fairly soon, and if the organization 3 
has ceased to exist, it will take some time to reproduce it. 

4. I should have thought that the most important aspect of this prob- 
lem is how' to increase production. There is practically nothing about 
this in the scheme. All that is said is that the present control is on the 
whole hampering rather than assisting larger production. It is difficult 
to understand why this should be so. I think it is possible to increase 
production provided we can produce the right atmosphere for it and get 
the workers to realise the necessity for it. I think also that production 
will increase by greater standardisation and by discouragement of finer 
counts. Something of this kind is mentioned in the note; but it does not 
go very far. 

5. There is reference in the note to the immediate prospect of im- 
ports of one hundred million yards from the U.K. and the U.S.A. and 
an assured monthly supply from Japan. This makes rather painful read- 
ing. Perhaps this is necessary, but it docs go right against all our policy 
of the past many years. 


6. I do not understand also why w'e should not insist on a greater 
production of yarn for handlooms. 

7. As I have said above, I am very inexpert at this business; but I 
have a definite apprehension lest we might jump from the frying pan into 
the fire. Anyway the subject is far too important for us to deal with it 
casually. The first thing to be done is to have full discussion amongst 
ourselves at an informal meeting of the Cabinet Members. 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


3. 


A temporary planning board 
rim Government. 


had been set up in October 1946 by the Inte- 


4 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 


5. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
2 July 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Thank you for your letter of the 29th June about Governors for pro- 
vinces. 2 We shall be glad if Sir John Colville and General Nye 3 stay on 
as Governors after the 15th August. Sir Chandulal Trivedi 4 and Sir 
Akbar Hydari 5 will, of course, stay on though it might be considered 
desirable to transfer them or one of them to another province. 

The question will then arise of finding Governors for the remaining 
provinces. These will include West Bengal and East Punjab. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1 . 

2 . 


3 . 


4. 


5 . 


The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, p. 831. 

In his letter of 29 June Mountbatten asked Nehru to let him know whether 
the Congress party intended that new Governors should be appointed as 
from the 15th August in U.P., Bihar, C.P., Orissa, Assam, Bombay and 
Madras. If it was not possible to recommend the names for these posts 
immediately, it was important that the existing Governors should be put 
in a position for the time being to make their own plans. 

Sir Archibald Edward Nye (1895-1967); joined Army 1914; Commander, 


Nowshera Brigade, 1939; Director of Staff Duties, 1940; Vice-Chief of Impe- 
rial General Staff, 1941-46; Governor of Madras, 1946-48; High Commis- 
sioner for the U K. in India, 1948-52; High Commissioner for the U.K. in 
Canada, 1952-56. 

C.M. Trivedi (1893-1980); I.C.S.; Chief Secretary to Government, C.P. 

1937-42; Secretary, Government of India, War Department, 1942-46; Governor 
of Orissa, 1946-47, East Punjab, 1947-53, Andhra State, 1953-56 and Andhra 
Pradesh, 1956-57; Member, Planning Commission, 1957-63. 

Muhammad Saleh Akbar Hydari (1894-1948); I.C.S.; Secretary, Industries and 
Supplies. Government of India, 1943-45; Member for Information and Broad- 
casting Viceroy's Executive Council, 1945-46; Governor of Assam, 1947-48. 


5 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


8. To Lord Mountbatten 1 


July 4, 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

In accordance with your suggestion, made at this morning’s meeting of 
the Cabinet, 2 I am offering my resignation from membership of the 
Interim Government. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. File No. 1446/36/GG/43, p. 2, President’s Secretariat. 

2. Mountbatten’s recommendation that the Government at the Centre be re- 
constituted on lines similar to that of the Government of Bengal, with the 
Muslim League Members forming the ‘shadow Cabinet* responsible only for 
the Pakistan areas, was turned down as illegal by Jinnah. It was subse- 
quently decided not to ask the Muslim League Members to resign but to 
withdraw the portfolios and reallocate them to two separate Cabinets under 
the common Chairmanship of the Governor-General. Mountbatten accord- 
ingly called for the resignation of the entire Cabinet. 


7. To Vallabhbhai Patel 1 


New Delhi 
5 July 1947 


My dear Vallabhbhai, 

The enclosed note 2 has been put up before me. I think it will be desir- 
able to follow the course suggested. The names proposed for the com- 
mittee 3 are, of course, merely provisional and for your consideration. 
You are much more acquainted with suitable persons who might be 
desirable on such a committee. 

1. Sardar Patel’s Correspondence 1945-50, Vol. 4, pp. 541-542. 

2. The note contained suggestions for the improvement of the organisation of 
work in Government offices. In view of the impending reconstitution of the 
Government, it recommended the constitution of a committee to review the 
various problems and suggest improvements in procedure and the adminis- 
trative machinery. 

3. The members of the committee were: R.N. Banerjee, Home Secretary, V.K.R. 
Menon, Secretary, Labour Department, K.R.P. Aiyangar, Joint Secretary, 
Finance Department, and L.K. Jha, Deputy Secretary, Commerce Department. 


6 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 


If you agree with this proposal I trust you will appoint some com- 
mittee and ask it to report within two or three weeks. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal 


8. To Ahmad Nawaz Khan 1 

New Delhi 
7th July 1947 

My dear Nawab Sahib, - 

Thank you for your letter of the 27th June. 1 It is always a pleasure to 
hear from you. 

Much has happened during the past few months which has been very 
painful. But I hope that we shall pull through. 

I shall be very glad to meet you when you come to Delhi. 

With all good wishes. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. File No. 201-PS/46-PMS. 

2. Nawab of Dera Ismail Khan; M I . A. (Central) since 1931; hereditary pre- 
mier peer of North West Frontier Province; served First World War, 1914-15. 
Third Afghan War, 1919 and Waziristan, 1919-21. 

3. Nawaz Khan wrote that he had been keenly watching Nehru's official 
actions and activities and considered them “quite right and proper under 
the present circumstances in India and in the world. 


9. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
7 July 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Thank you for your letter of the 4th July regarding the question ol the 

1. J.N. Collection. 


? 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


pay and allowances of Governors.- Our general approach to the problem 
of pay in the Services and elsewhere is that it should not go beyond a 
certain limit which is likely to be considerably below the present limits. 
This pay, however, should be augmented by allowances wherever 
necessary. 

2. Applying this principle to the two new provinces of East Punjab and 
West Bengal, we suggest that the pay of the Governors should be in the 
lowest grade, that is Rs. 66,000/- per annum. The question of allowances 
can be considered later and suitable sums fixed having regard to the 
special circumstances in each case. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

2. Mountbatten had written to Nehru on 4 July: “Presumably the Governor 
of West Bengal will be paid considerably less than the present Governor, 
...he might go down to the same grade as the Governor of Bihar or even 
the C.P., but he would also need rather more than half the allowances 
which are? provided in the Governors* allowances and privileges order. 1936.** 


10. The Reconstitution of the Interim Government 1 


I have now' received resignations from the nine Congress Members. The 
five Muslim League Members have for the present refrained from hand- 
ing in theirs, and Liaquat has written asking for details of my plan of 
reconstitution because the Muslim League can only decide whether to 
send in their resignations, when they know the full proposals. . . . 

3. Meanwhile I saw Nehru this morning, who agreed that I need take 
no steps to reconstitute the Government until the normal Cabinet meet- 
ing on 23rd July, but he said he could not possibly afford to allow it to 
be held beyond this .... 

1. Discussions with Mountbatten, 8 July 1947. Uxtracts. The first two para- 
graphs are in Mountbatten’s cable to Ismay dated 8 July 1947 and the last 
paragraph is in the Minutes of Viceroy’s Fifty-Fourth Staff Meeting held 
on the same day printed in The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 12 at p. 8 
and p. 13 respectively. 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 


Mountbatten said that he had explained to Pandit Nehru the difficulty 
that, if he expelled the Muslim League Members of the Interim Govern- 
ment, it would appear that his first act, after the announcement that he 
was going to stay on as Governor-General of the Dominion of India 
alone, was taking sides. Pandit Nehru had insisted that the reconstitution, 
as planned, was in the best interests of Pakistan. He had also explained the 
reason why Congress were so keen that this reconstitution should take 
place before the end of July. Congress had originally acceded to the 
Muslim League request to join the Interim Government on the condi- 
tion that the latter should join the existing Constituent Assembly. The 
failure of the League to join the Assembly had so much prejudiced the 
reputations of the Congress leaders that Pandit Nehru felt that they 
would stand little chance of being returned in fresh elections. In fact, 
their candidates had been soundly defeated in a recent bye-election. 


11. The Governor-Generalship of India 1 


Mountbatten stated that he had that morning shown Pandit Nehru and 
Sardar Patel the draft statement which the Prime Minister intended to 
make . 2 They could not have been more charming, and had made no 
criticism — in fact they had thought it admirable. He had told them that 
he considered that he was under an obligation to them to stay on and 
had only asked them to facilitate making clear the fact of his impartia- 
lity. They had replied that no one would imagine that he was being 
partial. They had further agreed to reference, in the Prime Ministers 
speech, to the Muslim League’s approval of his appointment. 


1. 

2 . 


Extracts from the Minutes of Viceroy’s Fifty-Fifth Staff Meeting held on 9 
Fuly 1947. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 12, pp. 35-38. 

On 8 July 1947, Attlee sent a draft of a statement to Mountbatten on the 
dominations of Governors-General for India and Pakistan which he (Attlee) 
intended to make the following day in the House of Commons. 


9 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAIIARLAL NEHRU 


The Viceroy stated that the Congress leaders had said that they want- 
ed him to stay on as long as lie would, but he had insisted on retention 
of the formula “at all events for the transition period" because this 
meant that it would be possible to select, nearer the lime, the date on 
which it would be possible to depart with honour. They had accepted 
this formula. 

The Viceroy said that at his interview’, just before the present meet- 
ing, with Pandit Nehru and Sardar Patel, they had asked him what he 
was going to do to help India in connection with her most pressing 
difficulty — relations with the States. He had replied that he had already 
started to help in this matter and would now' make the cause of agree- 
ment his primary consideration. He had said that he wished to pay tri- 
bute to Pandit Nehru for having agreed that States need only join the 
Centre on the three main central subjects; and to Sardar Patel for the 
statement which the latter had issued three days previously. :i He had said 
that, if the task could be tackled on that basis, he would throw himself 
heart and soul into the cause of obtaining agreement. He had made the 
point that, in meetings with representatives of the States, it would be 
desirable for him to see the States’ representatives alone first, accom- 
panied only by his own staff. He would then have discussions with the 
States Department, and if necessary also Pandit Nehru, unilaterally. He 
would then hold further meetings with each side to narrow down the 
points of disagreement; and it was only when he was confident that 
agreement would be reached that he would bring the parties together. 
Pandit Nehru and Sardar Patel had agreed to his proposal. 

The Viceroy said that he had received a letter from Sardar Nishtar 
and a verbal complaint from Mr. Jinnah to the effect that the former 
was not being associated, as had been intended, with the work of the 
States Department. He had pointed out to Pandit Nehru and Sardar 
Patel that they had agreed that some States would have to go to Pakis- 
tan; and they had now agreed to his suggestion that Sardar Nishtar 
should have access to the Secretary of the States Department. He would 
therefore reply to Sardar Nishtar to this effect and add the point that 
the Deputy Secretary of the States Department was a Muslim officer. 


3. In the statement issued on 5 July, Vallabhbhai Patel announced the creation 
of a new department to conduct their relations with the States in matters of 
common concern and proposed to explore “the possibility of associating with 
the administration of the new Department a standing committee representative 
of both the States and British India”. He also appealed to the States to join 
the Constituent Assembly and its councils for the common good of all. 


10 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 


12. Issues to be Clarified by the Working Committee 1 


In view of tiie meeting of the Congress Working Committee on Saturday 
next, 2 I am putting down below some of the important and urgent points 
that need decision in the near future. I do not mean that the Working 
Committee has necessarily to decide all these points but that it should 
know the kind of problems we have to face. The Committee should give 
us directions as to how we should tackle these problems and, wherever 
necessary, should issue directions to the public. 

2. A basic problem is the general relationship of the Working Com- 
mittee to the new Government of India. This problem has been with us 
in some measure during the last ten months. From August 15th onwards, 
in view of the new status of the Government, the question becomes an 
even more urgent one. The Government will have to take quick decisions 
in a large number of matters of vital importance. Some of these matters 
are such that they cannot be easily discussed in the Working Committee 
or elsewhere. The data and papers relating to them are secret and any 
premature disclosure might have unfortunate consequences. These relate 
to financial, economic, and defence matters as well as others. Apart from 
this, quick decisions have to be taken from day to day and it is hardly 
possible to refer any matter involving such a decision to the Working 
Committee. 


3. This involves the general question of freedom of the Government to 
shape policies and act up to them within the larger ambit of the general 
policy laid down in Congress resolutions. The Government, though pre- 
dominantly a Congress Government and therefore subject to general 
Congress policy, will not be entirely a Government of Congressmen. 


4. As the Viceroy fades out of the picture, the whole burden of initiat- 
ing policies and giving effect to them falls on the Cabinet. The Prime 
Minister plays an important part in giving a general direction to this 


1 New Delhi, 15 July 1947. A.I.C.C. Files G-30/1946-48, pp. 361-371, and 
71/1946-47 * pp. 7-15, N.M.M.L. This note was sent to the Congress President 
J B Kripalani, with copies to Mahatma Gandhi, Vallabhbhai Patel, Rajendra 

2 - - N«w Delb, on ,9 July .947. Among 
the sub j«t! il di.criM.ed were the choice ol Governor., plnns for celebration 
of 15 August and the date for the transfer of power. 


11 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


policy and in coordinating the various activities of the Government. 
Owing to various factors little has been done during the past few months 
in evolving our general economic policy. Our minds have been far too 
much taken up by political developments and communal conflict. While 
these will continue to take up our time, it will be necessary to direct 
attention to the really vital problems that confront the country. We shall 
have to lay down our policy towards industry, to planning generally, 
to workers’ standards, to controls and to rapid development and increas- 
ing production. Production is indeed the vital keystone on which much 
else depends. India is facing an exceedingly difficult food situation and 
partly as a consequence of this our financial position is bad. 3 We have 
to import food and pay for it in foreign currency. We lack this currency 
and the only way to get it is by exporting our own goods or by raising 
loans abroad. We have not got much to export and borrowing money 
abroad is not a safe undertaking from many points of view. Yet we may 
be compelled to do this, for we can hardly allow our own people to 
starve for lack of food. Our various schemes of development also neces- 
sitate the purchase of machinery and equipment from abroad. This too 
means foreign currency. 

5. Our normal expenditure, both for civil and military purpose, is 
likely to go up proportionately because of the partition. Partition also 
delays development schemes though, no doubt, we should try to push 
these through as rapidly as possible. Production being the first priority, 
both in regard to food and other necessary commodities, we have to 
think about it and organise it in a planned and scientific way. Merely 
appealing to people, whether industrialists or others, is not good enough. 
The cooperation of industrialists is very necessary; but equally necessary 
is the cooperation of labour generally. Only a satisfied labour force can 
work hard and with efficiency. This is not so much a question of pay- 
ing more and more wages and salaries but rather one of psychological 
approach and of producing a feeling that everyone is having a square 
deal. Our resources are obviously limited and we cannot increase wages 
and salaries beyond a certain limit. But we can act so as to produce a 
certain faith in the bona fules of Government and their desire to give a 
fair deal to everyone. When so many things are in short supply, it is 
difficult to leave matters to chance or to what is called “free enterprise.” 
A Government has to look ahead and provide for the possible risks and 
dangers. 

3. The southern and eastern areas of India were threatened by famine while 
the failure of rains in the Punjab. Rajputana. Gujarat and Kathiawar aggravat- 
ed the food problem. 


12 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 


6. This is just a brief indication of some of the urgent problems that 
confront us. Progress in one direction is blocked because of a bottleneck 
in some other aspect of national economy. Production is held up be- 
cause of lack of coal or of transport. Coal and transport have indeed be- 
come the most important bases for all our schemes of production and 
development. The lack of iron and steel comes in the way of these deve- 
lopment schemes. Faulty distribution results in essential public buildings 
like hospitals not being built for lack of steel when cinema houses are 
growing up in large numbers. 

7. How are these and other problems to be tackled? Naturally it will 
be the business of Government to tackle* them. Where does the Work- 
ing Committee come into the picture? It is desirable to be clear on this 
point in order to avoid future misunderstanding. 

8. The immediate issues that arise are: — 

(1) The constitution of the new Government of India. Who is to be 
Prime Minister? Will the Prime Minister appoint his Cabinet, 
naturally in consultation with his colleagues, or will this Cabinet 
be appointed largely or partially by the Working Committee? 

(2) The appointment of Governors of provinces. The present posi- 
tion is that four of the existing Governors have been asked to 
stay on. This question was put by the Viceroy to some of the 
Congress members of Government and the answer they gave was 
that Trivedi of Orissa, Hydari of Assam, Colville of Bombay, 
and Nye of Madras might stay on for the present. The other 
Governors must leave by the 15th August. This means that we 
have to provide Governors for the U.P., Bihar, C.P., West Bengal 
and East Punjab. In all we have to find five Governors. It is 
possible, of course, for either Trivedi or Hydari to be transferred 
to another province. The number required remains the same. 
There is no particular point in transferring Hydari from Assam. 
He has only been there for a short time. It is clear that in ap- 
pointing a Governor to a particular province, the Prime Minister 
of that province should be consulted before the final appoint- 
ment is made. While the power of Governors will be strictly 
limited after August 15th, their responsibilities will still be great 
especially in this period of transition. Strong and able Governors 
will particularly be needed in West Bengal and East Punjab 
where new Provincial Governments will come into being and the 
situation is likely to be difficult. 


13 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

9. All appointments of Englishmen in any particular office may be 
deemed to end by the 31st March 1948 unless the Government of India, 
for some special reason, desires to extend the period by a few months. 

10. The question of appointing Ambassadors and Ministers to foreign 
countries is continually with us, though there is no immediate urgency 
about it. It is desirable, however, to make an early appointment of an 
Ambassador in Nepal. A Charge d'affaires in the Paris Embassy should 
also be appointed soon. In view of various developments, it, appears 
highly desirable to take early steps to exchange diplomatic representa- 
tives with Egypt, Iran and Afghanistan. Some steps to this end are being 
taken. But the procedure will take time. 

An appointment which may be considered to be fairly urgent is that 
of a High Commissioner for Pakistan. 

11. The whole present structure of Government, its Departments and 
portfolios, have to be reviewed and possibly changed or varied. It may 
be necessary to open new Departments, such as that of Planning and 
Economic Development. My purpose in drawing attention to all these 
matters that will have to be decided soon is to inform you of the nature 
of the problems that face us. It is hardly possible for the Working Com- 
mittee to consider them in any detail or to give us direction in regard 
to all of them. The point is that the Committee should realise what the 
Government will be faced with and should lay down a general policy 
as to how it should function with or without reference to it. A continual 
reference is, of course, impossible. Normally a party executive lays down 
the broadest lines of policy and leaves it to the Government to work it 
out. 

12. Then there are other problems such as the observance of August 
15th. What should be done on that day and what should not be done? 
There is the official aspect of it as to what formal ceremonial should be 
followed. It has been proposed that the Governor-General should on that 
day come down to the Constituent Assembly and have the Proclamation 
read out; also perhaps to make a speech which might be followed by 
some other speeches from the House, more or less on the lines of British 
Parliamentary procedure. 

13. What else should be done especially by the public? Some clear 
directions have to be issued as questions are asked. Many people are of 
opinion that this is not the time for celebration when people’s hearts are 
heavy and distressed at recent happenings. On the other hand it would 


14 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 


bo exceedingly odd and perhaps harmful if the day was passed without 
some public ceremonies. Perhaps the least that can be done is to ask for 
national flags to be put up and for a public meeting or demonstration 
to be held in the afternoon when some resolution can be passed or a 
previously drafted statement can be read out. 

14. The question of the flag has to be considered. A Committee of the 
Constituent Assembly has recommended a flag which is a slight varia 
tion of the existing flag. It has our three colours; but instead of- the full 
charkha , it has only a wheel in the centre of the white strip. If the Work- 
ing Committee approves of this, it should formally be adopted. The 
question has arisen also as to whether the Union Jack should appear on 
the corner of the flag as a symbol of the British Commonwealth of 
Nations. 

15. Another matter which has to be thought of is the formal adoption 
of a national anthem. 

16. This note is not meant for circulation among members of the 
Working Committee but to indicate to the Congress President and a few 
of his colleagues the nature of the problems we have to face and dis- 
cuss when the Working Committee meets. 

Jawaharlal Nehru 


13. To Lord Mountbatten 1 2 

New Delhi 
19th July 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

In view of the reconstruction of the Government that lias taken place,' 

1 have consulted my colleagues and we arc of opinion that at present 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 12, pp. 260-261. 

2. Consequent on the passing of the Indian Independence Act, 1947, providing 
tor the setting up in India of two independent dominions, India and Pakistan, 
the Viceroy, after accepting the resignations of the Members of the Interim 
Government, reconstituted, on 19 July 1947, two Provisional Governments 
with corresponding Departments for India and Pakistan. They were to hold 
separate meetings of the Cabinet in respect of matters concerning exclusively 
India or Pakistan, but there was to be joint consultation on matters of com- 
mon interest under the chairmanship of the Governor-General. 


15 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


only provisional arrangements should be made. We shall undoubtedly 
have to add to the number of Members of the Government, but we do 
not wish to do so immediately. We may be able to suggest names of 
additional Members in the near future. Meanwhile, all arrangements are 
strictly provisional and subject to change. 

We propose that the following existing Members of the Cabinet should 
continue: 

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, 

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, 

Dr. Rajendra Prasad, 

Dr. John Matthai, 

r 

Shri Rajagopalachari, 

Sardar Baldev Singh, 

Mr. Jagjivan Ram, 

Mr. C.H. Bhabha and 
Jawaharlal Nehru. 

These existing Members will continue to hold their present portfolios 
and will, in addition, take charge of the five portfolios and Departments 
vacated by the Muslim League nominees. This will be done in the fol- 
lowing manner: 

Finance : Mr. C. Rajagopalachari 

Communications : Dr. John Matthai 

Commerce : Mr. Bhabha 


As Mr. Jagjivan Ram has not returned yet and it is not quite clear 
how soon he will be able to take charge because of his injury , 3 I am pre- 
pared to take temporary charge of the Health Department, till Mr. Jagji- 
van Ram can do so, or till some other arrangement is made. 

These arrangements, I would repeat, arc provisional only and sub- 
ject to change in future. 


3 Jagjivan Ram, Labour Member in the Interim Government, was injured on 
17 July 1947 when a York aircraft in which lie was travelling to India from 
Britain crashed in the desert near Basra. 


Health : 
Law : 


Mr. Jagjivan Ram 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 




THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 


14. To Lord Mountbatten 1 


New Delhi 
19th July 1947 


Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Thank you for your letter of the 14th July regarding your staff. 2 I am 
sorry for the delay in replying to it. May I reply to it a little later? But, 
meanwhile, I might say that we agree entirely with your suggestions in 
regard to the reduction of members of your staff. It is for you to deter- 
mine whom you should keep to assist you in your work. 

As regards Viceroy’s House and Viceregal Lodge, Simla, we appre- 
ciate greatly your suggestion that these might be put to some other 
national use and that you might move into a smaller house. I have no 
doubt that in future we should have to use these enormous houses for 
some other purpose. How far any change is feasible in the present, I 
am not quite clear. 

I hope to write to you further in answer to your letter. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. J.N. Collection. 

2. In his letter of 14 July 1947 Mountbatten had recommended certain names 
for the posts of a Flag Officer, an Air Officer Commanding, the Chief of Staff 
and the Commander-in-Chief. 


15. To the Secretary, Health Department 1 


In view of political developments and the passing of the Indian Inde- 
pendence Act, a large number of changes are taking place in all Depart- 
ments in regard to the staff. A number of British officers are retiring 
and a number of other officers have opted in favour of Pakistan and 
will be going there soon. Those who are going to the Pakistan area 
have already been asked to hand over charge to others and to function 


1. Note, 20 July 1947. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 

17 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

separately in temporary Pakistan Departments in Delhi. The I.M.S. will 
cease to exist as a Service. 

2. All this involves considerable changes and fresh appointments. I 
should like to know immediately the names of the officers who are leav- 
ing the Health Department in the near future for any one of the reasons 
mentioned above or for any other reason. I should like to know if there 
are any proposals for qpw appointments. 

3. It has been decided in Cabinet that it is not necessary to fill every 
vacancy unless there is special reason to do so. This decision has been 
taken partly because of the paucity of officers available and partly for 
reasons of economy. It may be necessary to reduce the number of senior 
officers if it is thought that such reduction is desirable in public interest. 
Will Secretary, therefore, kindly send me full information on the subject? 

4. I should also like to have some information about the hospitals in 
Delhi — who is in charge of them, does the senior staff include any 
honorary surgeons or physicians who are allowed private practice as 
is the practice in England? 

5. Is the Safdarjung Hospital functioning and if so who is in charge 
of it? 

6. I have been informed that there has been a considerable loss of 
medical stores from the Delhi hospitals, more: especially from the Safdar- 
jung Hospital. This Hospital, which originally belonged to the Ameri- 
cans, was fully equipped with drugs, medicines, instruments, refrigera- 
tors, ambulances, jeeps etc. Is all this equipment still there? I presume 
that there is some record of what was received from the Americans and 
this can be referred to. Both in the Safdarjung Hospital and in other 
hospitals an inquiry should be made about the equipment and medical 
stores which should be there according to records and which are actually 
there now. 

7. I understand that there is a proposal for the enlargement of the 
Willingdon Nursing Home. Is anything being done about this? There is 
obviously need for such enlargement. 

8. I should be grateful for early information on these points, more 
especially in regard to those officers who are leaving and the fresh ap- 
pointments which have to be made. These appointments have to take 
effect by the 15th August. 


18 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 


16. To the Prime Ministers of Provinces 1 

New Delhi 
21st July 1947 

My dear Prime Minister, 

In view of the political developments and the new set-up of the Gov- 
ernment of India, it is obviously necessary that close contact should be 
maintained between the Government of India and the provincial Minis- 
tries. I know that it is your desire and I entirely agree with it. We shall 
do all in our power not only to keep you generally informed of deve- 
lopments but to refer specific matters to you for your information and 
advice. I suggest that generally weekly letters might be exchanged be- 
tween us giving some account of the week’s important happenings. I 
shall endeavour to send such a weekly letter to you and I hope that 
you will be good enough to send me a weekly letter also. 

We shall, of course, be in communication with the Governors but 
what I am suggesting is something in addition to that, so that we can 
have direct touch with the Ministries. 

Apart from the weekly letters, we shall communicate with you by 
telegram, whenever necessity arises and I hope that you will do the 
same. Such telegraphs may be marked ‘personal* when you consider 
that necessary and want to draw personal attention to any particular 
matter. Such telegrams will normally be) in cypher. 

The External Affairs Department have started issuing a monthly sum- 
mary of international events. This will be sent to our Ambassadors 
abroad as well as to the Departments of the Government of India. I 
propose to send these summaries to you also, as well as to the Governor 
of your province. 

I shall gladly welcome any suggestion from you which will facilitate 
closer contact between your Government and the Government of India. 
You will appreciate that we are passing through a difficult and critical 
period and the closest cooperation between us is necessary. I can assure 
you that you will have that cooperation at our end. 

A copy of the latest foreign summary issued by my Department is 
being sent to you. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


I. File No. 7(l)/47-PMS. 


19 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


17. To O.P. Ramaswami Reddiar 1 

New Delhi 
25 July 1947 

My dear Prime Minister, 2 

Some time ago I wrote to Subbaroyan and suggested to him that in view 
of political developments it was desirable to consider the question of 
releasing political and labour prisoners, including Communists. Natural- 
ly it was not for me to judge as to what should be done, and the dis- 
cretion mm rest with your Cabinet. But 1 suggested that the time had 
come when this matter should be considered in view of new developments 
and wherever possible prisoners should be released. As a matter of fact 
many thousands of ordinary prisoners are being released on August 
15th. It would be odd if the semi-political prisoners were not released 
about the same time. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. Omandur P. Ramaswami Reddiar (1895-1970); Congressman from Tamil 
Nadu; President of the Tamilnad Congress Committee, 1938; elected Mem- 
ber of the Madras Legislative Council in 1946 and served as Premier of the 
composite Madras State, 1947-49. 


18. To Vallabhbhai Patel 1 

New Delhi 
27 July 1947 

My dear Vallabhbhai, 

I have just been to Bapu. He felt that K.M. Munshi was wholly unsuit- 
cd for Bengal. Indeed, he felt he was even more unsuited for Bengal 
than for East Punjab. He based his conclusion on his intimate know- 
ledge of Bengal and the Bengalis. 

The only name he could suggest was Amrit Kaur’s. 


Yours, 

Jawaharlal 


1. Sardar Patel* s Correspondence 1945-50 , Vol. 4, pp. 548-549. 


20 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 


19. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
27 July 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

I wrote to you yesterday about certain remarks made by the Commander- 
in-Chief about the Financial Adviser to the Defence Department. You 
spoke to me about this matter later. 

2. I now find in the minutes of the 716th meeting of the Commander- 
in-Chief’ s Committee of 25th July 1947 that Mr. Dundas 2 is said to be 
functioning as the Secretary of the Defence Department (also represent- 
ing Pakistan) and Mr. Shenoy 3 as Joint Secretary (also representing the 
Dominion of India). 

3. In the first item in the minutes it is stated that Mr. Bhalja 1 has been 
described as Additional Secretary. Mr. Bhalja has asked to be described 
as Secretary of the Defence Department of India. To this the Comman- 
der-in-Chief did not agree. He said as Commander-in-Chief of the Arm- 
ed Forces, he dealt with India as a whole and as long as there was a 
Government of India, he expected that there would be a Defence De- 
partment capable of representing the whole of India. 

4. There are subsequent references also to the Secretary, Defence De- 
partment, namely Mr. Dundas, who is asked to take action in regard to 
particular matters. 

5. It is clear that the Commander-in-Chief is completely wrong and that 
Mr. Bhalja was right. Indeed the Commander-in-Chief has not appreciated 
at all what has happened in India recently. 

According to orders passed by you, Mr. Bhalja is the Secretary of 
the Defence Department (India). Mr. Dundas has no business to fun- 
ction as such. 

1. File No. R/3/1/169, I.O.L.R., London. Also available in J.N. Collection. 

2. A.D.F. Dundas (1899-1973); member of the Indian Political Service; served 
in N.W.F.P.; Secretary, Defence Department, Government of India, 1946-47; 
Agent to Governor-General in Baluchistan, 1947-48; Governor, North West 
Frontier Province, 1948-49. 

3. J.P.L. Shenoy; joined the I.C.S. 1930; served in Madras Province till March 
1947 and later became Joint Secretary, Defence. 

4 G.S. Bhalja (1895-1948); joined I.C.S. 1920; Financial Secretary and Secre- 
tary, P.W.D., 1939-44; Additional Secretary, War Department, Government 
of India, 1944-46; Secretary, Defence Department, 1946-47; Secretary, De- 
partment of Information and Broadcasting, 1947-48. 


21 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


6. This is not merely a matter of designation but of outlook, and I 
fear that if the outlook is as represented in these minutes, then the 
interests of India will suffer. Mr. Bhalja, as representing the Defence 
Department (India), must look after the interests of India, just as Mr. 
Dundas presumably looks after the interests of Pakistan. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


20. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
28th July 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

I am exceedingly sorry for the delay in suggesting names for the Gov- 
ernorships. As I wrote to you the delay has been caused by the absence 
of some persons concerned from Delhi. We had in addition to consult 
the Prime Ministers of the provinces. Even now I am not sending you 
a full list as one of our prospective choices is in America. We are in 
communication with him. 

The situation in East Punjab requires careful and firm handling. We 
have come to the conclusion that it would be desirable to transfer Sir 
Chandulal Trivedi from Orissa to East Punjab. I have communicated 
on this subject with Trivedi and the Prime Minister, Mahtab, and also 
obtained their consent to the proposal. This would create a vacancy in 
Orissa. 

We suggest the following names: 

For East Punjab: Sir Chandulal Trivedi 

For Bihar: Mr. Jairamdas Doulatram 

For Central Provinces: Mr. Mangaldas Pakvasa 2 (at present Presi- 

dent, Bombay Council) 

For Orissa: Dr. Kailas Nath Katju (at present Minister, U.P. 

Government) 

Thus U.P. and West Bengal remain. I hope to let you know about 
them soon. I might mention that we propose to appoint Dr. B.C. Roy 

1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. Mangaldas Manchharam Pakvasa (1882-1968); President, Bombay Legislative 
Council, 1937-47; Governor of Madhya Pradesh, 1947-52; acting Governor, 
Bombay, 1954-55; acted as Governor of Mysore, 1959 and 1960-61. 


22 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 

as a Governor. He is at present in America under some treatment and 
is not likely to come back before the second week of September. In 
case of his appointment, some temporary arrangements for three or four 
weeks might be necessary. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


21. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
28th July 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

In continuation of my letter to you of today’s date about Governors, 

1 have to add the following suggestions for U.P. and West Bengal. 

For the United Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy of 

Provinces Calcutta 

For West Bengal Sir Gopalaswami Ayyangar 

Dr. B.C. Roy, as I have written to you, is in America at present and 
is not likely to be back till some time in September. We may thus have 
to make some temporary arrangements for three or four weeks. We are 
consulting the U.P. Prime Minister about these arrangements. 

Sir Gopalaswami Ayyangar has rather reluctantly agreed to our re- 
quest. Probably, he may not like to stay as Governor for long, but we 
hope that he will, in any event, function as such for three or four 
months, or possibly more. I hope to hear from him more definitely by 
this evening and shall let you know. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

Sir Gopalaswamy Ayyangar’s name should only be finalised after I have 
finally heard from him this evening. 

Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 

23 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


22. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
29 July 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

I am writing to you again about the Governors. Yesterday I sent you 
the names for most of the provinces. West Bengal was left out. I am 
glad to inform you that Mr. C. Rajagopalachari has agreed to go to 
West Bengal. 


2. The full list of names, therefore, is as follows: 


For West Bengal 
For Bihar 

For Central Provinces 

For East Punjab 
For Orissa 

For United Provinces 


Mr. C. Rajagopalachari 
Mr. Jairamdas Doulatram 
Mr. Mangaldas Pakvasa 

(at present President, Bombay 
Council) 

Sir Chandulal Trivedi 

(to be transferred from Orissa) 
Dr. Kailas Nath Katju 

(at present Minister, U.P. Gov- 
ernment) 

Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy 
(of Calcutta) 


3. I have informed all these persons named above and they have ac- 
cepted. I have also informed the Prime Ministers of the provinces con- 
cerned and obtained their approval. All of them except one will take 
charge about the 15th August. I do not know what date will be suit- 
able for this — the 15th or the 14th. 

4. The one exception is Dr. B.C. Roy who is in America at present 
and who expects to return about the middle of September. It will be 
necessary to appoint someone in! his absence, that is for about a month. 
I shall inform you of our suggestion for this interim appointment soon. 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 


24 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 

23. To Vallabhbhai Patel 1 

30 July 1947 

My dear Vallabhbhai, 

I have spoken to Ambedkar and he has agreed. 2 He said Law would not 
give him enough work. I told him he need not worry about that. There 
will be plenty of work of many kinds to do. 

I have also spoken to Rafi and he has agreed. 

Now you have to approach Syama Prasad and Rajaji and Shanmukham. 
I have still to speak to N.V. and Amrit Kaur. 

Yours, 

Jawaharlal 

1. Sardar Patels Correspondence 1945-50, Vol. 4, p. 536. 

2. Ambedkar was appointed Law Member in Nehru's cabinet. 


24. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
31 July 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

You will remember that I included Dr. B.C. Roy’s name in the list ot 
Governors. He is to take charge in the United Provinces. But he is un- 
able to do so before the 15th of September. We have thus to make 
arrangements for this interim period of one month from the 15th August 
to the 15th September. We have invited Mrs. Sarojini Naidu to under- 
take this office for this month and I am glad to say that she has agreed 
to do so. 

I am being asked by our prospective Governors as to when and how 
they are to take charge. Could you kindly let me have some indication 
of the exact date and when they are supposed to reach provincial capi- 
tals? 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. J.N. Collection. 

25 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


25. To Syed Ali Zaheer 1 


New Delhi 
1 August 1947 

My dear Ali Zaheer, 2 

I received your letter. 3 I am very sorry that I could not meet you during 
your stay in Delhi for the Minorities Committee. I had hoped to meet 
you, but somehow this did not come off. 

I am exceedingly sorry that you should feel that we have at all for- 
gotten you or that we have any grievance against you. Both these sur- 
mises are entirely incorrect. During your period of Membership of the 
Cabinet, all of us came into fairly close touch with each other and I 
know for a fact that all your colleagues greatly appreciated your work 
and the spirit of cooperation which you showed us. Certainly I felt very 
grateful to you as I wrote to you at that time. 

Circumstances were, however, too powerful for us and we had to 
part. Since then we have lived in a kind of whirl with event following 
event and there has been no opportunity to offer you scope for work at 
the Centre. 

During these recent days, when I have had to face again the question 
of forming a Cabinet, I have often thought of you and wished that 1 
could ask you to join us. But you will appreciate that one has to consi- 
der all manner of aspects and the result is not exactly as one might 
wish. I am sorry that I am unable to invite you to join the present Cabi- 
net. But believe me when I say that this has absolutely nothing to do 
with any lack of appreciation of your qualities and merits. 

I hope that before long it may be possible for me to suggest a post 
abroad as representative of India. This partition business has delayed all 
our work. But we hope to expedite it in the near future. 

With all good wishes, 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. (1896-1983); Member, U.P. Legislative Council, 1930-37 and again from 
1939 till supersession of the Legislature; elected President, All India Shia 
Political Conference, 1941 and 1945; Member for Law and Communications 
in the Interim Government, September to October 1946; Ambassador to Iran, 
1947-51 and concurrently to Iraq, 1949-51; Minister in U.P. 1951-67. 

3. Syed Ali Zaheer had written on 29 July that he felt greatly humiliated when 
asked to resign from the Interim Government to make way for the Muslim 
League. He wrote that the slur could be removed only by giving him some 
suitable post though he was making a suitable living at the Bar. 


26 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 


26. To Vallabhbhai Patel 1 


New Delhi 
1 August 1947 


My dear Vallabhbhai, 

As formalities have to be observed to some extent, I am writing to invite 
you to join the new Cabinet. This writing is somewhat superfluous be- 
cause you are the strongest pillar of the Cabinet. 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal 


1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 


27. Circular to Governors Designate 1 

New Delhi 
1st August 1947 

I am writing to inform you that you will probably be expected to reach 
your provincial capital on the 14th August. Early on the 15th August 
the swearing-in ceremony will take place and you will take formal charge 
of the Governorship. 

The salaries and allowances of Governors have varied: there are 
three or four grades. In the existing circumstances it will not be proper 
for us to continue the old salaries and allowances which are very ex- 
travagant and which are meant for the upkeep of big staffs, and some- 
times bands and orchestras. 

The Governor’s work will be simpler and less exacting than previously; 
that is to say, he will function as a constitutional head and will not 
interfere with ministerial decisions. Because of all this the Governor’s 
staff need not be as big as previously, though, of course, he must main- 
tain his position with dignity and must have an adequate staff. 

We propose to fix the Governor’s salaries for the present at the 
figure for the lowest grade, that is, Rs. 66,000 per annum. This will 
be for all Governors, excepting those whose terms are continuing and 
who are likely to leave a few months later. 

1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. It was sent to Sarojini Naidu, Jairamdas Doulatram, 
Kailas Nath Katju, C. Rajagopalachari and Mangaldas Pakvasa. 


27 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


We are not fixing allowances at present, but it is clear that the old 
allowances will have to be much reduced. I suggest that soon after tak- 
ing charge you might consider the question of your staff and the sum- 
ptuary allowances needed and yourself suggest to us what figure you 
consider reasonable. 

I have no doubt that many other questions will arise after your tak- 
ing charge. I hope you will not hesitate to write to me and we shall 
gladly help you to the best of oui* ability. 

Jawaharlal Nehru 


28. To Jag)!van Ram 1 

New Delhi 
1st August 1947 

My dear Jagjivan Ram, 

I am writing to invite you to join the new Cabinet. This is just a semi- 
formal letter. T know, of course, that wc arc going to have your co- 
operation in the Cabinet. 

I suppose that for some little time you will not be able to carry on 
the work of your Department. That will not matter as wc shall make 
some temporary arrangement till you are well enough. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal 


1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 


29. To John Matthai* 


New Delhi 
1st August 1947 


My dear Matthai, 

I write to you rather formally to invite you to join the new Cabinet 
that is being formed. You have been a tower of strength to us and to 
me specially and I do not know how T could carry on without you. 

1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 


28 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 


As you know, all existing Members of the Cabinet (minus the Pakis- 
tanis) will continue with the exception of Rajaji who will become a 
Governor. 

I do not propose to send a list of portfolios to the Governor-General. 
I shall only send him the names of Members of the Cabinet. Later we 
shall ourselves meqt for the allotment of portfolios. I do not think we 
need make many changes in the existing position, though some changes 
are inevitable owing to Rajaji’s going away. I think it would be desira- 
ble for you to continue in your present Department to which you have 
already given so much time and energy. We are going to have a tough 
time and will have to face difficult problems. We shall face them, of 
course, as a united team working together and sharing each other’s 
burdens. 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


30. To Abul Kalam Azad 1 

New Delhi 
1 August 1947 

My dear Maulana, 

I am writing to you rather formally to invite you to join the new Cabinet. 
This is hardly necessary, but still I felt that certain formalities should be 
observed. 

As you know, all the existing Members, excepting those who have gone 
to Pakistan, will continue minus Rajaji who will become a Governor. 

The question of portfolios will be finally determined later. But I take 
it that you would like to continue with the Education portfolio. 

We shall have very difficult problems to face. The only way we can 
do so is to work as a joint team sharing each other’s burdens. The old 
departmental system of work will have to give way to joint consultation 
on all important matters. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 


29 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


31. The Constitution of the New Cabinet 1 


36. Rumours in the press and private sources of information had indi- 
cated to me that Nehru was about to submit to me an unimaginative 
Cabinet of old-time Congressites .... I began by admitting that as con- 
stitutional Governor-General I would have to accept any names he put 
to me .... He said that he would always look to me for advice in these 
matters. 

37. I told him. . .that unless he got rid of a lot of top-weights like 
Rajagopalachari and Maulana Azad, he would find himself greatly ham- 
pered . . . that Bhabha and Matthai should both be kept since they were 
extremely able and fearless. . .that Baldev Singh appeared to me to be 
unsatisfactory as Defence Member though I realised he was the only 
available Sikh, that Rajendra Prasad was a dear old man .... With such 
a Cabinet the Congress could remain in power for the next few years; 
without it, it was done. 

38. Nehru agreed in principle, but said that there was a remarkable 
dearth of good young men, between the ages of 30 and 45, but that it 
was his intention to pick fairly unknown young men and put them in 
as Deputy Ministers or Parliamentary Secretaries to get experience. I 
told him I thought that this was a serious matter for India, and I sin- 
cerely trusted that he would give it his closest personal attention. 

1. Exctracts from Mountbatten’s personal report dated 1 August 1947. The 
Transfer of Power 1942-7 , Vol. 12, pp. 451-452. 


32. Mountbatten’s Note of Interview with Nehru 1 


I told him about the Secretary of State giving a party for representatives 
of the three parties from the Lords and Commons to meet Krishna 
Menon, and that Krishna Menon wanted Pandit Nehru to know about 
this. I said that I would mention this in my next letter to Krishna Menon. 

1. 2 August 1947. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 12, pp. 486-487. 


30 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 


2. I told him the question of jail releases 2 had been discussed with the 
Partition Council that morning and that it had been agreed that Sardar 
Patel and Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan should prepare a joint scheme for 
India and Pakistan and recommend to all Provincial Governments as to 
the level up to which jail releases should be counted. 

3. I told him how gratified I was that everybody had accepted my pro- 
posal 3 that the I.N.A. prisoners should have their sentences reduced by 
the Commander-in-Chief to the level which would get them out on the 
general releases, and that the parties had agreed that there should be 
absolutely no; publicity given to the I.N.A. prisoners. Pandit Nehru said 
that he was in full agreement. 

4. I told him that I had reconsidered the matter of Governors’ fort- 
nightly letters and had come to the conclusion that it might be thought 
unconstitutional if I accepted Pandit Nehru’s offer to continue them. But 
I asked him if I could see the fortnightly confidential reports from Pro- 
vincial Governors, to which he replied “Of course”. 

5. He told me that he was proposing to tell Governors and Prime Minis- 
ters to write personal letters to him. I told him that I proposed to invite 
the Governors up to stay with me during the cold weather for a con- 
ference, and that I hoped he would be able to address them. He said that 
he thought this would be a good idea. 

6. I informed him that I proposed to recommend to the Secretary of 
State that Sir Fazl Ali’s 4 appointment as a permanent Judge of the 
Federal Court should be made before the 15th August. Pandit Nehru 
agreed. 


2 . 


3. 


4 . 


There were only 11 I.N.A. men still in jail, with sentences ranging from 2 
to 7 years rigorous imprisonment, all said to have been given for brutality 
and not for political reasons. The Federal Court had recommended a reduc- 


tion of sentence’ in most of these cases. 

On the occasion of 15 August Auchinleck was prepared to reduce the senten- 
ces of the I.N.A. prisoners to the level needed for bringing them within the 
amnesty clause as was done in 1921 and 1937, and both Nehru and Jinnnh 
were prepared to accept this solution. 

Saiyid Fazl Ali (1886-1959); Judge of the Patna High Court. 19-8; Chief 
Justice. 1943; Chairman, Royal Indian Navy Mutiny Enquiry Commission 
1946- delegate to U.N. General Assembly, 1947; Judge, Federal Court of 
India, 1947-50; Judge, Supreme Court of India. 1950-52; Governor of Onssa. 
1952-54 and of Assam, from 1956 till his death. 


31 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


7. I told him that I had spoken to Mr. Jinnah and Mr. Liaquat Ali 
Khan that morning and had suggested to them that they should appoint 
the Pakistan High Commissioner for India before the 15th August, so 
as to represent Pakistan at the celebrations in Delhi on that date. 

8. I urged Pandit Nehru to appoint his High Commissioner for Pakis- 
tan by the 13th August, so that he might be in Karachi in time to 
represent India at the celebrations there. Pandit Nehru said that he 
thought the High Commissioner would probably be Mr. Sri Prakasa, but 
that he would let me know. 

9. We also discussed the question of the Gurkhas, a note of which was 
taken by the Conference Secretary for action. 


33. To Sudhir Ghosh 1 

New Delhi 
3 August 1947 

My dear Sudhir, 

I have just received your letter of the 1st. I have not received your letter 
of July 15 which, you say you sent through Jagjivan Ram. 

I am sorry for the hush up in India House over Krishna Menon’s 
appointment. 2 In this matter I am entirely to blame. Certainly it is not 
Krishna Mcnon’s fault. I had especially asked him not to mention it to 
anyone and I intended writing to Vellodi personally. I forgot to do so. 
Work has been very exacting here during the past few weeks and the 
Indonesian affair 3 has added to our difficulties. 

I am writing to Vellodi about this. 

1. Sudhir Ghosh Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. In his letter of l August 1947 Sudhir Ghosh wrote to Nehru that Vellodi, 
who was officiating as High Commissioner, felt very hurt that he had not 
been informed about the appointment of Krishna Menon as High Commissioner. 

3. Towards the end of July 1947, after a protracted struggle between the Indo- 
nesian Republic and the Netherlands, the Dutch began a military attack 
against Indonesia, and labelled it ‘police action' to prevent international inter- 
vention. 


32 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 


I am sorry about the postponement of the B.B.C. debate* on Sterling 
Balances. But we had no choice in the matter when our delegation 
urgently demanded it. Anyway we appear to have obtained good terms. 5 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

4. In the same letter Sudhir Ghosh said that the Friends of India Group had 
organised a discussion on the sterling balances on the B.B.C. but on the de- 
mand of the Indian delegation the B.B.C. forum was cancelled. 

5. On 14 August 1947, the Treasury announced that the Indian and British dele- 
gations had examined and agreed that a sum of £ 35,000,000 should be 
available from India’s existing balances for expenditure in any currency area 
up to 31 December 1947. In addition, a working balance of £ 30,000,000 
was to be at the disposal of the Reserve Bank of India. 


34. To V.K. Krishna Menon* 


New Delhi 
3 August 1947 


My dear Krishna, 

I have received your 3 notes dated 30th July. I am very sorry that a 
storm has broken out over your appointment.- I had indications of this 
from several sources even before your letter came. I do not quite know 
what I can do about it from here. I am writing to Vcllodi and Bhandari. 
I have spoken to Maharaj Singh also (he is taking this letter) and ask- 
ed him to have a talk with Vcllodi and others. 

Of course you are not to blame at all. I asked you especially not to 
mention the matter to anyone. I intended writing to Vellodi myself but 
in the rush of work I forgot about this. 

This business will add to your difficulties, and you had enough of 
them already. But I am sure you will get over them. Meanwhile I hope 
you will do your utmost to smooth over matters and gain the goodwill 
of your colleagues as well as all Indians. It is an essential part of our 
work to have that goodwill. 

1. V.K. Krishna Menon Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. News of this appointment had leaked through governmental sources. 

33 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

Wc asked you yesterday not to go to the U.S.A. for the Indonesian 
affair.*'* In view of developments this was not immediately necessary. 
Shahrir has however gone today to Bombay and he leaves for New 
York tomorrow. He will be very useful there. I think you had better 
carry on in London. Your absence at this stage, when a new situation 
has to be faced, may prove harmful. 

I feel also that you should not leave London for the U.N. General 
Assembly meeting. It is better for you to concentrate on the big work 
you have undertaken. 

About the Flag, we shall send you instructions later. But my present 
inclination is that you might fly the Union Jack also on August 15tli. 
Subsequently only the National Flag should be flown, except on special 
occasions when the Union Jack may also be flown. Wc shall probably 
make a list of such occasions. 

We have asked Vellodi to stay on as Deputy High Commissioner for 
the present. We may send him to the U.N. Assembly meeting as an alter- 
nate delegate but this is not decided yet. After that, or about that time, 
he can return to India. 

I think H.M.G.’s attitude in the Indonesian affair has been entirely 
unsatisfactory. } I also think that it would have been wholly wrong for 
us to put off an approach to the Security Council. As it is we delayed 
too long — chiefly because of H.M.G. Now, apart from the big questions 
involved, I want sufficient stress to be laid on the destruction of the 
Indian Dakota by the Dutch.-' What the exact law may be I do not know 
but I think it was a scandalous thing for the Dutch to do. This apparent- 
ly was part of the police action. We must make a good deal of noise 
about this. 

I am anxious that the present Dutch position in Indonesia should not 
be stabilised. We must insist on their reverting to the position before they 
started hostilities. 


Yours affectionately, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


3. The Security Council considered the Indonesian question from 1 August to 
26 August 1947. 

4. In a statement in Parliament on 22 July 1947 Bevin said that while the Bri- 
tish Government would seize any opportunity to bring about a peaceful settle- 
ment of the Indonesian conflict he could not specify what means the Govern- 
ment would adopt to brine this about. 

5. On 29 July 1947 Dutch fighter planes shot down an Indian Dakota carrying 
medical supplies for the Indonesian Red Cross. 


34 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 


35. Personal Telegram to Abdur Rahman 1 

3.8.1947 

Your telegram dated July 28th. 2 Appreciate what you say but Fazl Ali 
appointed to Federal Court over two months ago and Ram Lai 3 has been 
designated Chief Justice East Punjab. Your absence from India on pub- 
lic duty will certainly not affect your interests. On your return we shall 
consider this question in consultation with you. 

1. Ministry of External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, File No. 2(71)- 
UNO-I/47, p. 75/corr., National Archives of India. 

2. Abdur Rahman had in his telegram requested favourable consideration for 
appointment either to the Federal Court or as Chief Justice of the Eastern 
Punjab High Court, failing which he would take leave preparatory to retire- 
ment. 

3. Dewan Ram Lai; Government advocate, 1933; Advocate-General, 1937; Judge, 
Lahore High Court, 1938. 


36. To Lord Mountbatten 1 


New Delhi 
4 August 1947 


Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

I give below the names of my colleagues in the new Cabinet: 

1. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel 

2. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad 

3. Dr. Rajendra Prasad 

4. Dr. John Matthai 

5. Shri Jagjivan Ram 

6. Sardar. Baldev Singh 

7. Shri C.H. Bhabha 

8. Rajkumari Amrit Kaur 

9. Shri Rafi Ahmad Kidwai 

10. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar 

11. Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee 

12. Shri Shanmukham Chetty 

13. Shri Narhar Vishnu Gadgil 

You will notice that all the existing Members, with the exception of Shri 


1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 12, pp. 501-502. 


35 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

C. Rajagopalachari, have been included in this list. Six new names have 
been added. I have obtained the consent of all of them. 

2. We shall decide finally about the portfolios when we have our first 
meeting. We do not intend making any changes in the present distribu- 
tion of portfolios among the eight existing Members except that Mr. 
Rajagopalachari’s departure will necessitate a change. 

3. We might have to consider a new arrangement of portfolios some- 
what later. Thus Food and Agriculture might be combined. Planning 
will have to be given some place. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


37. To Vallabhbhai Patel 1 

New Delhi 
4 August 1947 

My dear Vallabhbhai, 

I give below the list of names for the new Cabinet which I have sent to 
the Governor-General: . . . 2 

The portfolios have not been mentioned. It is proposed, however, that 
portfolios with the old Members should be retained by them except for 
a change necessitated by Rajaji’s departure. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal 


1. Sardar Patels Correspondence 1945-50, Vol. 4, p. 538. 

2. For the names see the preceding item. 


38. The Policy of Free India 1 


Owing to the secession of some parts of India the immediate problem is 
to finalise the partition and settle down to work in the new conditions. 

1. Cable published in The New Republic (U.S.A.), 4 August 1947. 


36 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 


The food situation is very serious. This has been worsened by the Dutch 
action in Indonesia in seizing rice stocks meant for India.- We have to 
take urgent steps to obtain foodstuffs from abroad and to add to our 
domestic production. Lack of foreign exchange comes in the way both 
in importing food and in buying capital equipment from abroad. Hence 
the release of sterling balances is of vital importance to us. 

We have already a dozen big projects in hand for damming rivers, 
developing power resources, irrigation, etc. Some of these are as big in 
area as the T.V.A. We shall push these on as rapidly as possible. We 
propose to appoint a planning commission to develop industry, agricul- 
ture and social services in an organised and planned manner. Scientific 
research will have first priority. 

Our provincial governments are already committed to far-reaching 
land reforms to result in the abolition of the landlord system and also to 
the development of popular education. These will be fully supported by 
the Central Government. 

A great majority of British civil servants will be leaving India by 
August 15. Probably very few British civil servants or military officers 
will be left in India after March 1948. Only a few who might be required 
by us for special purposes will be invited to remain. It is our definite po- 
licy completely to Indianize the civil and defense services by next April 

We propose to have a relatively small but a highly efficient army, a 
growing air force and, to begin with, a small navy. Training schools for 
these are being enlarged or being established. 

Foreign capital will be welcome in India for our schemes of develop- 
ment on profitable terms, but the control of Indian industry must remain 
in Indian hands. Some of our basic industries and public utilities are 
likely to be controlled by the State. 

It 1 is difficult to prophesy about the future, but it seems inevitable that 
India and Pakistan must have much in common and will have to co- 
operate in many fields. This cooperation should lead to closer relations 
and possibily to some kind of union. That can only come with mutual 
goodwill and the force of circumstances. 

In our foreign relations wo have emphasised our desire not to be en- 
tangled in power politics and rival blocs but to try to be friendly with 
all nations. We arc anxious to develop our own resources and raise our 
standards of living, and we shall do our utmost to preserve peace. 


2. It was reported on 25 July that rice earmarked for India totalling 9,000 tons, 
in Probolinggo and Banjuwangi in Java, had fallen into Dutch hands and 
been confiscated. 


37 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAIIARLAL NEHRU 


Wc have been greatly disturbed by the recent happenings in Indonesia. 
Military aggressive action on a big scale involving organised destruction 
by bombing of the nerve centres of the country is a negation of the 
United Nations Charter. If there is any dispute between nations it must 
be referred to arbitration or to the U.N. For any power to refuse arbi- 
tration and to take unilateral action is to strike a grievous blow at the 
United Nations. 

The League of Nations failed because the individual powers ignored 
it and went ahead with their own expansionist schemes. The U.N. will 
suffer a like fate if it remains passive when war-like operations are start- 
ed without any reference to it. This is a matter which affects Asia inti- 
mately but it affects the whole world, for in it lie the seeds of war and 
of destruction of world cooperation for the maintenance of peace. Indo- 
nesia has become a symbol and a test for all the powers and more spe- 
cially for the United Nations. 

Today, on the eve of independence, India’s mood is strange and per- 
plexed. There is a feeling of quiet confidence and triumph at her achieve- 
ment and, at the same time, deep sorrow for all that has happened dur- 
ing the first year and the secession of part of the country. Wc realize fully 
that we have to face a multitude of very difficult problems both national- 
ly and internationally. This is a sobering thought and yet the ultimate 
feeling is one of confidence in ourselves and in our future. 


39. To Lord Mountbatten 1 2 3 * 

New Delhi 
5 August 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Your letter dated the 1st August.- You ask me about Sir Bertie Staig, 5 

1. File No. 990 / GG-43, Coll. No II. 1947, p. 2, President's Secretariat. 

2. In his letter of 1 August 1947, Mountbatten communicated to Nehru Staig’s 
inquiry whether ihc new Government would wish to retain him in his present 
office as Auditor-General. Me indicated his willingness to serve the Govern- 
ment of India. 

3. Bertie Munro Staig (1892-1952); Financial Adviser, Military Finance, Gov- 

ernment of India, 1935; Financial Commissioner, Railways. 1937; Auditor- 

General of India, 1945-48. 


38 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 


the Auditor-General. It is. as you know, our general policy to keep those 
members of the services who desire to continue serving. It is also our 
general policy to have Indians in all important offices, wherever such 
Indians are available. But, for the present, we do not want to displace 
any person who chooses to continue in his present office. 

Sir Bertie Staig may, therefore, continue to serve as Auditor-General. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


40- To Lord Mountbatten’ 

New Delhi 
5 August 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

In your letter of the 14th July- you discuss the question of your future 
staff and various other matters. I think we have already dealt with those 
parts of your letter which refer to your personal staff. In this matter we 
would like you to exercise your own discretion. I am glad that Lord 
Ismay will be staying on. 

In paragraphs 6, 7 and 8 of your letter you refer to the Secretary to 
the Governor-General (official). It is not quite clear to us what the 
duties of this officer might be. I suggest that he might not be appointed 
at this stage. Perhaps later, if it is found necessary, someone might be 
appointed to that office. 

I have already written to you how much we appreciate your sugges- 
tion to move into a smaller house. I have no doubt that this would 
create a considerable impression in people's minds and would be general- 
ly welcomed by them as an indication of the new- order. I have also little 
doubt that the Viceroy’s House, or, at any rate, a large part of it, is 
likely to be used for some other public purpose in the future. 

On the other hand, any change-over at present would rather add to 
our difficulties than lessen them. It is no easy matter to find a suitable 
house for you and the process of going from one place to another will 

1. I.ord Mountbatten Papers, Broadlands Archives Trust, Broadlands, Romsey, 
Hampshire. 

2. Mountbatten had in his letter discussed the staff to be retained in India after 
the transfer of power, the question of handling of official papers after 13 
August, and the future of the Viceroy's House in Delhi and the Viceregal 
Lodge at Simla. 


39 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAIIARLAL NEHRU 

be a complicated one. Wc feel, therefore, that you should continue to 
Jive in the Viceroy’s House, or, as it will now be called, “Government 
House”. 

I would suggest, however, that the public entertainment rooms of the 
Government House might be used in future, when needed, for Govern- 
ment entertainments and not only for the Governor-General’s entertain- 
ments and parties, and that a part of the building might be used for Gov- 
ernment guests, chiefly from foreign countries. There is at present no 
proper accommodation for them. They have been often treated of course 
as the Viceroy’s guests. 

If you consider 1 these proposals feasible, perhaps some kind of a brief 
statement might be issued later stating that you had offered to change 
over to a smaller house but that in view of various circumstances we had 
decided, for the present, to continue the existing arrangement, subject to 
the changes mentioned. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


41. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
6 August 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Thank you for your letter of the 5th August sending me a list of dates 
when the Union Jack might be flown in India. 2 I take it that this means 
that the Union Jack will be flown on public buildings in addition to the 
National Flag. 

There is only one date in the list which I would suggest is not quite 
appropriate. That is August 15th, Independence Day. On this day the 
National Flag has a particular significance and I think it should stand 
by itself. 

So far as next August 15th is concerned, I understood that this had been 
agreed to. I suggest that the same rule might apply to anniversaries of 
this date. 

1. File No. 1446/34/GG/43, Coll. No. I. President’s Secretariat. 

2. Mountbatten’s list of dates was as follows: 1 January — Army Day, 1 April — 
Air Force Day, 24 May — Commonwealth Day, 12 June — King’s Official Birth- 
day, 14 June — United Nation’s Flag Day, 4 August — Queen’s Birthday, 7 
November— Navy Day, 11 November — Remembrance Day for both World 
Wars, 25 April — Anzac Day and 15 August — Independence Day. 


40 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 


I might inform you that I was asked what should be done in India 
House, London, on next August 15th. Normally, of course, only the 
National Flag will be flown. But 1 thought that in London on that parti- 
cular day it would be fit and proper for the Union Jack also to be flown 
on India House. Instructions to this effect have been sent to our High 
Commissioner. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


42. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
6 August 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

I wrote to you on August 5th about Sir Bertie Staig and stated that for 
the present he could stay on as Auditor-General. 

2. Certain technical difficulties have been pointed out to me. As a 
member of the I.C.S. desiring to continue serving in India, he would be 
welcome to do so and if at any time the question of his retirement is 
considered, he would naturally get his proportionate compensation etc. 
As Auditor-General he is more or less in the same position as a Judge 
of the Federal Court and his appointment continues indefinitely for some 
years, probably four. The question thus arises whether his continuing 
now means our committing ourselves to another four years. That would 
be a difficult commitment for us or anyone in these changing times and 
conditions. We would like him to stay on for the present. But we would 
not like to bind ourselves down to any period. Indeed in the new con- 
stitution we are making there are special provisions about the Auditor- 
General. It is doubtful how far under the existing Act we can do away 
with such a commitment in case he continues in his present office or is 
appointed afresh to it. 

3. It is possible, of course, for changes to be made in the Schedules 
of the Government of India Act. But before we do this we should like 
to have Sir Bertie Staig’s reaction to what I have written above. 2 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. File No. 990/GG-43, Coll. No. II, 1947, p. 10, President’s Secretariat. 

2. Mountbatten replied on 11 August that Staig accepted these terms and would 
stay on for only one more year. 


41 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


43. To Vallabhbhai Patel 1 

New Delhi 
6 August 1947 

My dear Vallabhbhai, 

I have just seen a letter dated 5 August, addressed by P.V.R. Rao 2 3 to 
Tarlok Singh :i stating that the Home Department has come to the con- 
elusion that Oulsnam, 4 Secretary, Health Department, should be reliev- 
ed with effect from 15 August. I am rather surprised to learn this, some- 
what indirectly, as I have been proceeding on the assumption that 
Oulsnam will stay for a short time more. Indeed I have been discussing 
various matters with him and have asked him to take certain action. 
Just at present the Health Department is completely depleted and new 
people will have to be brought in. I should have thought that before any 
decision was arrived at in such a matter some kind of reference might 
have been made to the acting Member for Health; otherwise, there is 
bound to be dislocation and sometimes contrary policies being pursued. 

I was given to understand by you that no one who chose to stay on 
is going to be asked to leave summarily. In accordance with that I pro- 
ceeded on the basis that Oulsnam was staying on, for a while at least: 
Whether Oulsnam *is particularly suited for it or not is beside the point. 

Apart from this individual matter, there is another aspect to be con- 
sidered. Any action taken in regard to officers of a particular Department 
should, l imagine, be taken in consultation with the Member concerned. 
Otherwise his plans might be completely upset. 

For the last three days I have had daily interviews with Oulsnam and, in 
fact, I am seeing him this morning. This was with the purpose of orga- 
nising the Health Department and making some appointments. The inti- 

1. Sardar Pa/el’s Correspondence 1945-50, Vol. 4, pp. 544-545. 

2. P.V.R. Rao (b. 1909); joined I.C.S. 1933; served in the Governor-General's 
Secretariat and in the Home, Defence and Finance Ministries, 1941-49; 
Secretary, Government of Bombay, Education and Finance Departments, 
1949-52; Minister in the High Commisson of India, London, 1952-54; Chief 
Secretary, Hyderabad, 1955; Advisor to the Governor during the period of 
President’s rule in Kerala, 1959; Additional Secretary, Ministry of Community 
Development. 1960-62; appointed Defence Secretary in November 1962 and 
later Secretary, Department of Special Economic Coordination. 

3. P.V.R. Rao wrote that though Oulsnam wished to continue serving the Gov- 
ernment of India for a short period after 15 August 1947, Patel had decided 
that his services should be terminated on 15 August, and that he had been 
informed accordingly. 

4. S.H.Y. Oulsnam (1898-1972); joined I.C.S. 1921; Deputy Secretary to the 
Government of India, Department of Education, Health and Lands, 1940; 
Joint Secretary, 1943; Secretary, Department of Health, 1945-47. 


42 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 


mation that he is going in about a week’s time suddenly upsets all this. 
The notice appears to me to be very short and people might feel that 
we are acting in too great a hurry without giving enough time to persons 
who have been in service for a considerable period. 

Last evening Lady Mountbattcn 5 came to me and mentioned Bhatiu’s 
case 0 as well as one or two others. Her point was that it was not fair to 
suddenly push out a person at short notice. I assured her that this was 
not our policy and that we are asking the Madras Government and the 
Bengal Government not to proceed in this way in the case of I.M.S. 
officers. Oulsnam’s case now will belie the assurance 1 gave her and it 
will be difficult to justify. Of course, she has no official position in this 
matter. She is only connected with a number of medical associations, 
like the tuberculosis and other associations and she was worried about 
them. 

I am rather at a loss to know how I am to talk to Oulsnam when he 
comes to see me. It seems rather odd that I should be completely un- 
aware of what was going to happen to him and that I should have talk- 
ed to him til! yesterday on a different basis. I am put in a somewhat 
false position. All I can tell him today is that 1 was not aware of this 
step and that I shall give more thought to it. 

I hope to see you today and discuss this matter more fully. 

I am enclosing a copy of Rao’s letter to Tarlok Singh. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal 

5. Edwina Ashley Countess Mountbatten (1901-1960); married Lord Mount- 
batten, 1922; Supcrintendcnt-in-Chief, St. John Ambulance brigade. 1942; 
Chairman, St. John and Red Cross Services Hospitals, 1948. 

6. Colonel Sohan Lai Bhatia; joined I.M.S. 1917; appointed Surgeon-General. 
Government of Madras in May 1947. but that Government wanted to appoint 
a member of the provincial service to that post. 


44. To Vallabhbhai Patel 1 2 


New Delhi 
7 August 1947 


My dear Vallabhbhai, 

I spoke to you the other day about the story of Subhas Bose's wife- and 


1. I.N. Collection. 

2. Emilie Schenkl: worked ns Subhas Bose's Secretary in 1934 and 1935 


43 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


child. 3 I now enclose a paper containing some particulars. Could you 
kindly write to Nathu Lall* who is in Antwerp and ask him to inquire 
into the matter and arrange help if necessary? 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

3. Anita (b. 1942). 

4. A friend of Subhas Bose. 


45. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
10 August 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Thank you for your letter of the 9th August about the days on which 
the Union Jack should be flown. 2 We shall gladly consider the question 
of August 15th next year, as you have suggested, with the Pakistan 
Government. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. J.N. Collection. 

2. Mountbatten wrote that as 15 August 1947 had been struck out from the list 
of the days on which the Union Jack should be flown on both the Dominions, 
it would be a good gesture if the high commissioners of both the Dominions 
raised this matter simultaneously on 1st July 1948, so that the Union Jack 
could be flown in future years on that date. 


46. To Vallabhbhai Patel 1 

New Delhi 
10 August 1947 

My dear Vallabhbhai, 

I enclose a letter received from Krishna Menon. You will remember that 
the question of arms traffic 2 came up before us when he was here and I 

1. J.N. Collection. 

2. In his letter of 7 August 1947 Krishna Menon had reported that Krai, a Czech 

citizen who had been in India for many years, had negotiated an arrangement 
for the sale of arms by the Czech Government to Hyderabad, and that as a 
result of his intervention the negotiations had come to a standstill. But he ad- 
vised Nehru not to make formal protests. 


44 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 

had asked him to inquire. This relates to that inquiry. As he is anxious 
that this matter should bo kept completely secret, I am sending you the 
original letter. When you have done with it, will you kindly return it to 
me? 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal 


47. To Vallabhbhai Patel 1 

New Delhi 
12 August 1947 

My dear Vallabhbhai, 

I enclose copy of a letter received from my sister from Moscow, also 
copy of a telegram from her. 

2. You will read what she has written about sending an Ambassador to 
Iran. I expect to hear officially from the Iranian Government within the 
next few days. Ali Zaheer’s name, you will notice, was suggested by the 
Iranian Ministers. This was done by them without any instigation on our 
part. I think that in the circumstances we should choose Ali Zaheer. This 
would please them and at the same time solve one of our problems. I 
think it is desirable that No. 2 in our Embassy there should be a Hindu. 

I have in mind a young Hindu in the Secretariat who knows Persian 
rather well. I forget his name. He is one of the young men chosen by 
us for the Foreign Service previously. 

3. You suggested that it might be desirable to delay this and other ap- 
pointments for some little time. I think this is difficult now and, having 
regard to all the circumstances, we should go ahead as soon as possible. 
I do not think any person will misunderstand or criticise this particular 
appointment. 

4. I shall, of course, wait for the formal communication from Iran. But 
I should like to be ready by that time. That is to say, I should like to 
get Ali Zaheer’s formal consent. He came to see me in Lucknow today, 
but I did not mention this matter to him. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal 

1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 

45 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


48. The National Flag 1 2 


I have read a number of letters that have appeared in The Hindustan 
Times in the feature ‘Thanks for the Flag’. T am afraid I am unconvinc- 
ed by any of the criticisms made of the ‘design’ and I think that the Flag, 
as adopted, successfully represents, both artistically and symbolically, 
what it is meant to represent. 

The Flag is above all a symbol. This Flag of ours with the three col- 
ours and with the charkha- has been a symbol to us, for many years, of 
freedom and unity as well as the labouring masses of India. It would 
have been quite impossible for us to vary the Flag essentially without 
doing violence to that sentiment and the symbolism that has grown 
around it. The Flag was originally adopted after very careful considera- 
tion' and the choice and arrangement of the colours was and is, I think, 
very artistic and beautiful. The charkha added a certain beauty of con- 
ception to the Flag. Because the full charkha is not there now, it must 
not be imagined that we have given up the charkha or what it meant. In 
the resolution of the Constituent Assembly, it was stated clearly that the 
wheel in the centre represented the charkha. This symbolic representation 
of the charkha retains in its entirety the conception behind the charkha 
and is. in fact, a continuation of that idea in a somewhat more feasible 
and artistic form more suited to the Flag. 

That form was not casually chosen but was taken from the wheel from 
Asoka’s capital. That wheel, of course, was no invention of Asoka, it was 
older than Asoka. But the fact that it was connected with Asoka and 
is to be seen on his columns was an additional incentive for us to adopt 
that particular form. 

The suggestion that the wheel should have been bigger and should have 
covered part of the saffron and green strips shows a lack of appreciation 
of the artistry of the entire design. That would have spoilt the Flag. 

The Flag thus, as adopted, fulfils all the requirements that we demand 
from it. It is beautiful and artistic, it is essentially the Flag of our struggle 
for freedom and our triumph, it is the Flag representing the common man 
and the masses of India and at the same, time, modern as it is, it takes 

1. New Delhi, 12 August 1947. This letter to the editor of Tlic Hindustan 
Times was printed on 14 August 1947. 

2. Chakra or wheel replacing charkha was held by some as representative of the 
old autocracy and not in keeping with the spirit that lay behind the charkha 
which symbolized the masses. 


46 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 


us back to the great cultural traditions of ancient India which have con- 
tinued, in some measure, throughout the ages. It is a Flag thus both of 
the permanence of Indian culture and the dynamic quality of India today 
which, we hope and trust, will be directed towards the betterment and 
liberation of the masses of this country. 


49. Message on the Departure of British Troops 1 


During the last few days vital changes have taken place in the relation- 
ship between India and England. The bonds that tied India to England 
against the wishes of her people have been removed, resulting in a far 
more friendly feeling in India towards England than at any time previ- 
ously. That unnatural relationship is giving place gradually to a normal 
and natural relationship between two countries who desire to cooperate 
for their mutual advantage and the common good. 

Few things are more significant of this change than the withdrawal of 
British troops from India. Foreign armies are the most obvious symbols 
of foreign rule. They are essentially armies of occupation and as such 
their presence must inevitably be resented. No soldier likes this business, 
for it is neither war nor peace but a continuing tension and living in a 
hostile atmosphere. I am sure that sensitive British officers and men must 
have disliked being placed in this abnormal position. 

It is good, therefore, for all concerned that the British armed forces in 
India are being withdrawn and are going home to serve their country in 
other ways. As an Indian I have long demanded the withdrawal of British 
forces from India, for they were a symbol to us of much that we disliked. 
But I had no grievance against them as individuals and I liked and ad- 
mired many whom I came across. What we disliked was the system which 
inevitably brought ill will in its train apart from other consequences. 

I know the good qualities of the British soldier and I should like our 
own army to develop those qualities. On the occasion of the departure of 
the first contingent of British troops from India I wish them godspeed and 
trust that between them and the soldiers and people of India there will be 
goodwill and friendship which can only subsist between equals who do 

1. New Delhi, 13 August 1947. The Transfer of Power 1942-7 , Vol. 12, pp. 

695-696. The first contingent of British troops left Bombay on 17 August 1947. 


47 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


not fear each other. We have nothing to fear from each other in the future 
and there are many things in which we can cooperate together. 

It is rare in history that such a parting takes place not only peacefully 
but also with goodwill. We are fortunate that this should have happened 
in India. That is a good augury for the future. 


50. The New Cabinet' 


The new Cabinet, which will function from August 15, 1947, will con- 
sist of the following Members. Their portfolios are indicated opposite 
their names: 


Jawaharlal Nehru 


Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel 

Dr. Rajendra Prasad 
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad 
Dr. John Matthai 
Sardar Baldev Singh 
Shri Jagjivan'Ram 
Mr. C.H. Bhabha 
Mr. Rafi Ahmed Kidwai 
Rajkumari Armit Kaur 
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar 
Shri R.K. Shanmukham 
Chetty 

Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee 
Shri N.V. Gadgil 


Prime Minister; External Affairs 
and Commonwealth Relations; 
Scientific Research. 

Home; Information & Broadcast- 
ing; States. 

Food & Agriculture. 

Education. 

Railways & Transport. 

Defence. 

Labour. 

Commerce. 

Communications. 

Health. 

Law. 

Finance. 

Industries & Supplies. 

Works, Mines and Power. 

Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. 14 August 1947. File No. 2(19)/47-PMS. Printed in Newspaper, 15 August 
1947. 


48 


THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT 


51. The Appointed Day 1 


The Appointed Day has come — the day appointed by destiny, and India 
stands forth again after long slumber and struggle — awake, vital, free 
and independent. The past clings on to us still in some measure and we 
have to do much before we redeem the pledges we have so often taken. 
Yet the turning-point is past, history begins anew for us, the history 
which we shall live and act, and others will write about 

It is a fateful moment for us in India, for all Asia and for the world. 

A new star rises, the star of freedom in the East, a new hope comes into 
being, a vision long cherished materialises. May the star never set and 
that hope never be betrayed. 

We rejoice in that freedom, even though clouds surround us, and 
many of our people are sorrow-stricken and difficult problems encom- 
pass us. But freedom brings responsibilities and burdens and we have 
to face them in the spirit of a free and disciplined people. 

On this day our first thoughts go to the architect of this freedom, the 
Father of our Nation who, embodying the old spirit of India, held aloft 
the torch of freedom and lighted up the darkness that surrounded us. 
We have often been unworthy followers of his and have strayed from 
his message, but not only we, but succeeding generations, will remember 
this message and bear the imprint in their hearts of this great son of 
India, magnificent in his faith and strength and courage and humility. 
We shall never allow that torch of freedom to be blown out, however 
high the wind or stormy the tempest. 

Our next thoughts must be of the unknown volunteers and soldiers of 
freedom who, without praise or reward, have served India even unto 
death. 

We think also of our brothers and sisters who have been cut ofl from 
us by political boundaries and who unhappily cannot share at present in 
the freedom that has come. They are of us and will remain of us what- 
ever may happen, and we shall be sharers in their good and ill fortune 

The future beckons to us. Whither do we go and what shall be our 
endeavour? To bring freedom and opportunity to the common man, to 
the peasants and workers of India. To fight and end poverty and ignor- 
ance and disease. To build up a prosperous, democratic and progressive 

1. Message to the nation on Independence Day printed in the newspapers on 15 
August 1947. 


49 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


nation, and to create social, economic and political institutions which 
will ensure justice and fullness of life to every man and woman. 

We have hard work ahead. There is no resting for any one of us till 
we redeem our pledge in full, till we make all the people of India what 
destiny intended them to be. We arc citizens of a great country, on the 
verge of bold advance, and we have to live up to that high standard. All 
of us, to whatever religion we may belong, are equally the children of 
India with equal rights, privileges and obligations. We cannot encourage 
communalism or narrow-mindedness, for no nation can be great whose 
people are narrow in thought or in action. 

To the nations and peoples of the world we send greetings and pledge 
ourselves to cooperate with them in furthering peace, freedom and demo- 
cracy. 

And to India, our much-loved motherland, the ancient, the eternal 
and the ever-new, we pay our reverent homage and we bind ourselves 
afresh to Jier service. Jai Hind ! 


50 


2 

THE FRAMING OF THE CONSTITUTION 


















































THli FRAMING OF THE CONSTITUTION 


1. A Federal Constitution 1 


Pandit Nehru stated that the point 2 was discussed by the Union Con- 
stitution Committee 3 at its meeting yesterday and its conclusions were 
as follows: — 

(1) that the Constitution should be a Federal structure with a 
strong Centre; 

(2) that there should be three exhaustive legislative lists, viz, Federal, 
Provincial and Concurrent with residuary powers to the Centre; and 

(3) that the States should be on a par with the> provinces as regards 
the Federal Legislative List, subject to the consideration of any special 
matter which may be raised when the lists have been fully prepared. 

(4) It was accepted as a general principle that the executive authority 
of the federation should be co-cxtensive with its legislative authority. 4 

1. Extracts from the draft minutes of the second joint meeting of the Union and 
Provincial Constitution Committees held on 7 June 1947 under the president- 
ship of Rajendra Prasad. Constituent Assembly of India, Constitution Section, 
File No. CA/ 64/47, Ministry of Law, Government of India. 

2. Whether India should be a unitary State with provinces functioning as agents 
and delegates of the central authority, or a federation of autonomous units 
leaving certain specified powers to the centre. 

3. A resolution passed on 30 April 1947 by the Constituent Assembly recom- 
mended that two separate committees be appointed, one to report on the 
main principles of the Union Constitution and the other on the principles of 
a model provincial constitution. 

4. These conclusions were accepted by the joint meeting. 


2. To the President, Constituent Assembly of India 1 

New Delhi 
5 July 1947 

Sir, 

On the 28th April 1947, the Hon blc Sir N. Gopalaswamy Ayyangar, on 

1. Included in the supplementary report of the Union Constitution Committee 

whose Chairman was Nehru. Constituent Assembly of India. Committee Sec- 

tion File No CA /23 /com/47, Ministry of Law, Government of India; also 
printed in Constituent Assembly o\ India, Reports of Committees (First Scries), 

1947, pp. 66-67. 


53 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


behalf of our Committee, presented our first report to the Constituent 
Assembly. In doing so, he referred to the changes that were developing 
in the political situation and were likely to allect the nature and scope 
of the Committee’s recommendations, and sought permission to submit 
a supplementary report at a later date. The House was pleased to grant 
us leave to do so. 

2. Momentous changes have since occurred. Some parts of the coun- 
try are seceding to form a separate State, 2 and the plan put forward in 
the Statement of the 16th May on the basis of which the Committee was 
working is, in many essentials, no longer operative. In particular, we 
are not now bound by the limitations on the scope of Union powers. 
The first point accordingly that we considered was whether, in the chang- 
ed! circumstances, the scope of these powers should not be widened. We 
had no difiiculty in coming to a conclusion on this point. The severe 
limitation on the scope of central authority in the Cabinet Mission’s 
plan was a compromise accepted by the Assembly much, we think, 
against its judgment of the administrative needs of the country, in order 
to accommodate the Muslim League. 3 Now that partition is a settled 
fact, we are unanimously of the view that it would be injurious to the 
interests of the country to provide for a weak central authority which 
would be incapable of ensuring peace or coordinating vital matters of 
common concern and of speaking effectively for the whole country in the 
international sphere. At the same time, we are quite clear in our minds 
that there are many matters in which authority must lie solely with the 
Units and that to frame a constitution on the basis of a unitary State 
would be a retrograde step, both politically and administratively. We 
have accordingly come to the conclusion — a conclusion which was also 
reached, by the Union Constitution Committee — that the soundest frame- 
work for our constitution is a federation, with a strong Centre. In the 
matter of distributing powers between the Centre and the Units, we 

2 In a broadcast on 3 June 1947, Mountbatten announced that the British Gov- 
ernment had accepted his proposal that they should transfer power to one 
or two Governments of British India, each having Dominion Status, as soon 
as the necessary arrangements could be made. His proposal also contained a 
scheme for the partition of the country at the! time of the transfer of power. 

3. Paragraph 12 of the Cabinet Mission’s Statement of 16 May declared that, 
while rejecting the idea of Pakistan, the Mission was aware of the fear of the 
Muslims that their “culture and political and social life might become sub- 
merged in a purely unitary India” in which the Hindus would dominate. It 
therefore proposed that the provinces were to have full provincial autonomy 
“subject only to a minimum of central subjects, such as foreign affairs, defence 
and communications.” 


54 


THE FRAMING OF THE CONSTITUTION 


think that the most satisfactory arrangement is to draw up three exhaustive 
lists on the lines followed in the Government of India Act of 1935, viz., 
the federal, the provincial and the concurrent. We have prepared three 
such list s accordingly and these are shown in the Appendix. 

We think that residuary powers should remain with the Centre. In 
view however of the exhaustive nature of the three lists drawn up by us, 
the residuary subjects could only relate to matters which, while they may 
claim recognition in the future, are not at present identifiable and can- 
not therefore be included now in the lists. 

3. It is necessary to indicate the position of Indian States in the scheme 
proposed by us. The States which have joined the Constituent Assembly 
have done so on the basis of the 16th May Statement. Some of them 
have expressed themselves as willing to cede wider powers to the Centre 
than contemplated in that Statement. 4 But we consider it necessary to 
point out that the application to States in general of the federal list of 
subjects, in so far as it goes beyond the 16th May Statement, should be 
with their consent. It follows from this that in their case residuary pow- 
ers would vest with them unless they consent to their vesting in the 
Centre. 

4. To enable States and, if they so think fit, provinces also, to cede 
wider powers to the Centre, w r e recommend that the constitution should 
empower the Federal Government to exercise authority within the Federa- 
tion on matters referred to them by one or more Units, being understood 
that the law would extend only to the Units by whom the matter is re- 
ferred or w'hich afterwards adopt the law. This follows the Australian 
model as set out in section 51 (xxxvii) of the Australian Constitution 
Act. 5 

5. We have included in the federal list the item “the strength, organi- 
sation and control of the armed forces raised and employed in Indian 
States”. Our intention in doing so is to maintain all the existing powers 
of coordination' and control exercised over such forces. 

4. On 28 April 1947, when representatives of eight States took their seats in the 

Constituent Assembly, B.L. Mitter, Dewan of Baroda, declared: ...we are 

at one with you in that the Indian Union should be strong at the Centre, 
so that India may hold her head high in the comity of nations .... 

5. “The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make 
law's for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with 
respect to . . . Matters referred to the Parliament of the Commonwealth by the 
Parliament or Parliaments of any State or States, so that the law shall extend 
only to States by whose Parliaments the matter is referred, or which after- 
wards adopt the law.** 


55 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


6. We recommend to the Assembly the proposals contained in para. 
2-D of our previous report on the subject of federal taxation. 6 It is quite 
clear, however, that the retention by the Federation of the proceeds of 
all the taxes specified by us would disturb, in some cases violently, the 
financial stability of the Units and we recommend therefore that provi- 
sion should be made for an assignment, or a sharing of the proceeds of 
some of these taxes on a basis to be determined by the Federation from 
time to time. 

I have the honour to be, Sir, 

Your most obedient servant, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 
Chairman 


6. The Committee recommended the following sources of revenue for the Union 

1. Duties of customs, including export duties; 

2. Excise duties; 

3. Corporation tax; 

4. Taxes on income other than agricultural income; 

5. Taxes on the capital value of the assets exclusive of agricultural lands of 
individuals and companies; taxes on the capital of companies; 

6. Duties in respect of succession to property other than agricultural land; 

7. Estate duty in respect of property other than agricultural land; 

8. Fees in respect of any of the matters in the list of Union powers; but not 
including fees taken in any court, other than the Union court. 


3. To the President, Constituent Assembly of India 1 


New Delhi 


13 th July 1947 


Dear Sir, 

1. On behalf of the members of the Committee appointed by you in 
pursuance of the resolution of the Constituent Assembly of the 30th 
April, 1947, I submitted a memorandum embodying the recommenda- 
tions of the Committee. 


2. The Committee met again on the 12th July, 1947, and decided on 
certain modifications to be made in the said memorandum. I have the 
honour to submit this supplementary report containing these recommen- 
dations. 

1. Constituent Assembly of India, Constitution Section, File No. CA/22/47, 
Ministry of Law, Government of India; also printed in Constituent Assembly 
of India, Reports of Committees (First Series), 1947, pp. 64-65. 


56 


THE FRAMING OF THE CONSTITUTION 


3. In the opinion of the Committee, clause 3 of the memorandum 
should contain the following additional sub-clause to enable the Federal 
Parliament to alter the name of any Unit, namely: — 

(e) “alter the name of any Unit.” 

4. The Committee is of opinion that the following should be added to 
sub-clause (2) of clause 6 of Chapter I of Part IV of the memorandum 
to make it clear that if a member of the Council of State is elected as 
Vice-President he shall vacate his scat as such member, namely: — 


“and if a member of the Federal Parliament is elected to be 
the Vice-President, he shall vacate his seat as such member”. 


5. The Committee is further of the opinion that Part X of the 
memorandum on the Indian Constitution should be replaced by the 
following: — 


The amendment of the Constitution may be initiated in either House 
of the Federal Parliament and when the proposed amendment is passed 
in each House by a majority of the total membership of that House and 
by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House 
present and voting, it shall be presented to the President for his assent, 
and upon such assent being given the amendment shall come into opera- 
tion : 

Provided that if such amendment is in respect of any provision of 
the Constitution relating to all or any of the following matters, namely:— 

(a) any change in the Federal Legislative List, 

(b) representation of Units in the Federal Parliament, and 

(c) powers of the Supreme Court, 


it will also require to be ratified by the legislatures of Units represent- 
ing a majority of the population of all the Units of the Federation in 
which Units representing at least one-third of the population of the 


Explanation— “Unit" in this clause has the same meaning as in clause 
i a c\f Pnrt IV Where a Unit consists of a group of States, a proposed 


PART X 

AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION 


Federated States arc included. 


Group. 



Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


57 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


4. Amendment of the Rules 1 


The Honourable Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru: I am not saying anything on 
merits. 2 What I was going to say is this. Even if it is taken up, this is 
something which the Steering Committee must consider. This is a long 
drawn-out Rule which, even if accepted on merits, has to be looked into 
by lawyers and others. The question is how it should be accepted. It 
cannot be taken up in this manner. Otherwise, instead of removing a 
difficulty we might be creating other difficulties. I submit the proper 
course is to send it to the Steering Committee. 

Mr. President: I am putting it to the House. 3 

Shri Sri Prakasa: May I respectfully enquire what will be the 

position of the new* members who have been elected and who have 
taken their seats? In the light of Rules 4 and 5, will their presence 
be allowed? 

Mr. President: I allowed them to take their seats yesterday. They 

will continue. 

* * * * 

The Honourable Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru: May I point out that the 

question that Shri, Sri Prakasa has raised is an important question? The 
question is how to do it. The bringing up of an informal amendment to 
the Rules is an improper way. Possibly it will be open to the House to 
pass a resolution or if it is necessary to change the Rules we may change 
them. But it must be considered by the appropriate authority. My only 
submission is that it cannot be taken up in this casual way. 


1. 15 July 1947. Constituent Assembly Debates, Official Report, Vol. IV, 1947, 
p. 577. 

2. Moving an amendment Sri Prakasa had suggested insertion of a new rule 
according to which the Governor-General could order fresh elections to the 
Constituent Assembly from the areas mentioned in paragraphs 4 to 14 of the 
statement of 3 June 1947. These areas comprised Bengal, Punjab, Sind, 
N.W.F.P., Baluchistan and Assam. 

3. It was rejected by the House and Sri Prakasa was informed by the President 
that he could send the amendment to the Steering Committee. 


58 


THE FRAMING OF THE CONSTITUTION 


5. The Provincial Constitution 1 


Mr. President, if the Report of the Union Constitution Committee had 
been under consideration at this time, I would be standing here in a 
special capacity. But I rise now to remove the misunderstandings that 
have arisen in the minds of some of the members. It may be that I may 
not wholly succeed in my object. It is quite possible that) I may fail to 
convince Maulana Hasrat Mohani who is rather a deep person and 
claims to be at once the representative and spokesman of both the Com- 
munists and Forward Blocists . 2 It is quite obvious that if my fear comes 
true he would, suffer from considerable perplexity. But what I intend say- 
ing is nothing very incomprehensible and technical. It is quite correct 
to say that we would be acting improperly if we took up the consideration 
of the Provincial Constitution without keeping in view the ideals we 
seek to realise and the goal we seek to reach . 3 We have, it is true, taken 
up the consideration of the Provincial Constitution, first. 

Six months ago this House passed a resolution which placed before 
it) the plan and the ideals. These were approved. When once the outline 
of any thin g has been drawn, the order in which the several problems 
involved therein arc to be ' 1 taken in hand has to be decided. In this case 
It so happened that the question of the Provincial Constitution arose 
earlier and the Report of the Provincial Constitution Committee also 
was ready earlier. Consequently, members got sufficient time to study 
this Report. The other Report, however, has been sent to the members 
only six or seven days ago. Consequently, keeping in view the fact that 
the members would not have sufficient time to study it, it was consider- 
ed proper for their convenience not to submit that Report to the House 
for the time being, but to present the Report of the Provincial Constitu- 
tion Committee which had been already sufficiently studied. Honourable 
Members have all received the Report of the Union Constitution Com- 
mittee. If the President permits, I am ready to present it to the House 
immediately. The only difficulty in doing so is that the members may 
complain that they had no time to study it sufficiently and that even if 
time be given for studying it, it would mean the waste of two or three 

1. Speech in the Constituent Assembly. 15 July 1947. Cons.Uuen, Assembly 

2 That all and Communist members 

werTabsent and therefore, on their behalf, he was protect, ng 


59 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


days in doing so now. It was in view of this that it was considered pro- 
per to present the Report which was ready and had been thoroughly 
studied. The other Report will also be presented to the House just as this 
one has been. All of you should know that there is no intention of con- 
cealing anything or acting in an underhand manner in following this 
procedure. 

In the present Report the term ‘Governor’ occurs. This has completely 
upset the Maulana . 4 I admit that the term ‘Governor’ has come down 
to us from the previous regime and that our associations with it are not 
very happy. But at present we are not concerned with the question of 
terminology. We do not know whether our Constitution would be in the 
English or any other language. So far as the term itself is concerned, you 
are all aware of there being Governors in America as also of the powers 
and authority they wield. I, therefore, submit that this does not violate 
in the least, the ideas and the principles wp have in view. It is my sub- 
mission that there is no question of principle involved in it. The only 
question is of the convenient working of this House. If you and Sardar 
Patel so desire, I am prepared to present the Report of the Union Con- 
stitution Committee to the House. 

4. Hasrat Mohani had earlier remarked that in the report presented by Patel, 
he had stated that they wanted to appoint Governors. With that very word 
the whole constitution of the Union was being defaced and distorted. 


6. On the Report of the Union Constitution Committee 1 


This report lays down certain principles which should govern the con- 
stitution, of the Union. It is not meant to be a draft of the constitution. 
After the principles have been decided it is proposed to constitute a 
drafting committee which will produce a formal draft for the considera- 
tion of the next session of the Constituent Assembly. 

For purpose of completeness reference has been made in this draft 
to certain matters which have been dealt with more fully at an early 

1. This note was written in New Delhi on 18 July 1947 and circulated to the 
members of the Constituent Assembly on 19 July 1947. Constituent Assembly 
of India, Constitution Section, File No. CA/22/47, Ministry of Law, Govern- 
ment of India. 


60 


THE FRAMING OF THE CONSTITUTION 


stage by the Assembly. These matters will thus not be taken into consi- 
deration at this stage. 

Thus, the preamble and the first paragraph of Part I have been dealt 
with in the Objectives Resolution of the Constituent Assembly and the 
final constitution will have to incorporate parts of the Objectives Resolu- 
tion and the preamble, etc. That Objectives Resolution will have to under- 
go some modification on account of the political changes resulting from 
partition, but the basic principles of the Objectives Resolution will remain. 
That resolution has been referred to a sub-committee for the purpose of 
making the necessary changes. 

The whole of Part II, which deals with citizenship, will not be taken 
up at this stage. This matter has been considered by an ad hoc com- 
mittee and their final report has to be awaited. 

Part III dealing with fundamental rights will also not be considered 
now, because the Constituent Assembly has already come to decisions 
in regard to fundamental rights. 

All these matters will, of course, be incorporated in the final draft of 
the constitution and will then come up before the Constituent Assembly. 

Thus, the following clauses of the memorandum of the Union Con- 
stitution Committee will stand over for the present and, therefore, no 
amendments need be moved at this stage of these clauses. 

1 . Preamble, 

2. First paragraph of clause 1 of Part I, 

3. The whole of Part II which deals with citizenship. 

Jawaharlal Nehru 


7. The Principles of the Union Constitution 1 


Mr. President, Sir, I beg to move: 

That the Constituent Assembly do proceed to take into considera- 
tion the Report on the principles of the Union Constitution 2 sub- 
mitted by the Committee appointed in pursuance of the resolu- 
tion of the Assembly of the 30th April, 1947. 

1. 21 July 1947. Constituent Assembly Debates , Official Report , Vol. TV, 1947, 
pp. 730-731. 

2. Not printed. 


61 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


This Report has been circulated and after the full Report was cir- 
culated a Supplementary Report 3 or rather an addendum to the previ- 
ous report has also been circulated. In this Supplementary Report cer- 
tain changes have been made in the previous Report. So I am putting 
before the House the Report as amended by the Supplementary Report. 

I ventured to circulate a note 4 on this Report to the members of this 
House two days ago in which I pointed ouf that so far as the Preamble 
and part of Clause 1 were concerned, they were covered more or less by 
the Objectives Resolution of this House. That resolution holds. It may 
have to be varied in regard to smaller matters because of political deve- 
lopments since it was passed. 

A Sub-Committee has been asked to go into the question of drafting. 
We are not changing the Objectives Resolution at all. What I mean is, 
adapting it to the Preamble. The Objectives Resolution is history and 
we stand by all the principles laid down in it. In adapting it to the Pre- 
amble, certain obvious changes have to be made. At the present moment, 
as the House is aware, we are not going into the drafting of the Con- 
stitution, but are establishing the principles on which this should be draft- 
ed. Therefore, that draft of the Preamble is not necessary. We have 
settled the principles. So I suggested in my note that we may not con- 
sider this matter. 

Part II dealing with Citizenship has not been finally decided yet by the 
Sub-Committee and Part III dealing with Fundamental Rights has already 
been considered by this House and passed. I would therefore suggest 
that we might begin consideration of this Report from Part IV, Chapter I, 
The Federal Executive. There are one or two minor matters which you 
may have to consider in Parts I and II. It is not necessary to take these 
one or two simple matters. It is better to begin with Part IV and con- 
sider the rest at a later period. 

May I point out that I just mentioned that Fundamental Rights have 
been considered by this House and passed. All that we have passed will 
of course come up before the House once again for final consideration. 
There are many new members and it has been pointed out to me by 
some of them that they were not present here when these Fundamental 
Rights were considered and passed. Well, it is perfectly true. It is a 
little difficult for us to go back repeatedly and start afresh. That I do 
not think will be proper. But, as a matter of fact, all these things will 
finally come up before the House and it will be open to any of the mem- 
bers to point out anything or to amend any part of it at that time. So, 


3. Not printed. 

4. See the preceding item. 


62 


THE FRAMING OF THE CONSTITUTION 


I suggest* Sir, that we may proceed now with Part IV, Chapter I, if you 
have got the printed pamphlet, it is on page 5. It begins with Federal 
Executive. 

The Report is a fairly long one. At the end of the Report, you will 
find an Appendix dealing with the judiciary. This is the Report of the 
ad hoc Committee on the Supreme Court. That is only for your informa- 
tion because these conclusions have been more or less incorporated in 
the Report. 

Obviously, when we consider the constitution, the fundamental law 
of the nation as it is going to' be, it is an intricate and important matter 
and we cannot just rush through it without giving it sufficient time and 
consideration. I may inform the House that so far as the Union Consti- 
tution Committee was concerned, it gave it their very earnest considera- 
tion, not once, but several times. We met the Provincial Constitution 
Committee also on several occasions and this is the result of our joint 
consultation, but mostly of the Union Constitution Committee’s work 
itself. 

I have just been given the list of amendments. This paper contains 
228 amendments. I am told, in all we have reached the figure 1,000. I 
have not seen them as yet, none of them. It is rather difficult for me to 
deal with them now. I should like to abide by the wishes of the House 
in the matter. 

If I may suggest one thing at present, it is this: that we start with 
Part IV — Federal Executive. The very first thing that comes up is how 
the Head of the Federation should be elected. I understand that there 
are several viewpoints on that. Possibly that particular item may be taken 
up. It is a simple item. The views may bo this way or that; but this is 
a simple issue and we may consider it now. not only because it is the 
first item, but because it can easily be taken up without a knowledge of 
the other large number of amendments. I beg to move this. 


8. On the Mode of Election of the President* 


Sir, I suggest that we should begin with Part IV, Chapter I. 

“Clause 1 (1) The Head of the Federation shall be the President 

(Rashtrapati) to be elected as provided below. 

1. Speech in the Constituent Assembly, 21 July 1947. Constituent Assembly 
Debates, Official Report, Vol. IV, 1947, pp. 733-735. 


63 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

(2) The election shall be by an electoral college consisting of — 

(a) the members of both Houses of Parliament of the Federation, 
and 

(b) the members of the Legislatures of all the Units or where a 
Legislature is bicameral the members of the Lower House thereof. 
In order to secure uniformity in the scale of representation of the 
Units the votes of the Unit Legislatures shall be weighted in pro- 
portion to the population of Units concerned. 

Explanation — A Unit means a province or Indian State which re- 
turns in its own individual right members to the Federal Parliament. 
In Indian States which are grouped together for the purpose of re- 
turning representatives to the Council of States a Unit means the 
group so formed and the Legislature of the Unit means the Legisla- 
tures of all the States in that group. 

(3) The election of the President shall be by secret ballot and on 
the system of proportional representation by means of the single 
transferable vote. 

(4) Subject to the above provisions, elections for the office of 
President shall be regulated by Act of the Federal Parliament. ’ 

Now, Sir, one thing we have to decide at the very beginning is what 
should be the kind of governmental structure, whether it is one system 
where there is ministerial responsibility or whether it is the Presidential 
system as prevails in the United States of America; many members possi- 
bly at first sight might object to this indirect election and may perfer 
an election by adult suffrage. We have given anxious thought to this 
matter and we came to the very definite conclusion that it would not 
be desirable, first because we want to emphasize the ministerial chara- 
cter of the Government that power really resided in the ministry and 
in the legislature and not iri the President as such. At the same time we 
did not want to make the President just a mere figure-head like the 
French President. We did not give him any real power but we have 
made his position one of great authority and dignity. You will notice 
from this draft Constitution that he is also to be Commander-in-Chief 
of the defence forces just as the American President is. Now, there- 
fore, if we had an election by adult franchise and yet did not give him 
any real powers, it might become slightly anomalous and there might be 
just extraordinary expense of time and energy and money without any 
adequate result. Personally, I am entirely agreeable to the democratic 
procedure but there is such a thing as too much of a democratic pro- 
cedure and I greatly fear that if we have a wide scale wasting of the 
time, wq might have no time left for doing anything else except prepar- 
ing for the elections and having elections. We have got enough elections 


64 



AT THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY, 14 AUGUST 1947 



MIDNIGHT SESSION OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY, 14 AUGUST 1947 


THE FRAMING OF THE CONSTITUTION 


for the Constitution. We shall have elections on adult franchise basis 
for the Federal Legislature. Now if you add to that an enormous Presi- 
dential election in which every adult votes in the whole of India, that 
will bo a tremendous affair. In fact even financially it will bo difficult to 
carry out and otherwise also it will upset most activities for a great part 
of the year. The American Presidential election actually stops many ac- 
tivities for many many months. Now it is not for me to criticise the 
American system or any other system. Each country evolves the system 
of its choice. I do think that while there are virtues in the American 
system, there are great defects in that system. I am not concerned with 
the United States of America. I am concerned with India at present and 
I am quite convinced in my mind that if we try to adopt that here, we 
shall prevent the development of any ministerial form of Government 
and we shall waste tremendous amount of time and energy. It is said that 
the American Presidential election helps the forging of unity of the coun- 
try by concentrating the mind of the entire country on the Presidential 
election and on the conduct of those elections. One man becomes the 
symbol of the country. Here also he will be a symbol of the country; 
but I think that having that type of election for our President would be 


a bad thing for us. 

Some people suggested, why have even this rather complicated sys- 
tem of election that we have suggested? Why not the Central Legislature 
by itself elect the President? That will be much simpler, of course, but 
there is the danger that it will be putting the thing very much on the 
other side, of having it on too narrow a basis. The Central Legislature 
may, and probably will, be dominated, say, by one party or group which 
will form the ministry. If that group elects the President inevitably they 
will tend to choose a person of their own party. He will then be even 
more a dummy than otherwise. The President and the ministry wi re- 
present exactly the same thing. It is possible that even odierw.se the i Presi- 
dent may represent the same group or party or ideas But we have taken 
a middle course and asked all ih. members of aB the ietpslt a.ures aU 
over India, in all the units to become voters. It ts ]ust ltkely thay 
will be choosing a party man. Always that is possible o . J™ ’ 

wo may rule out electing the President by the Central Legtslature as 

being on too narrow a basis. -wtnral 

To have it on adult franchise, you must have some kmd of e ec ora 

college. I. has been suggested that we may have 

college which will include all manner o introducing con- 

lities, district boards and so on. T , ’ , number of 

fusion without doing good to anybo y. ^ j various legis- 

petty elections for making up the electoral college. In the 

65 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


latures you have already a ready-made electoral college, that is, the 
members of the legislatures all over India. Probably they will number a 
few thousands. And presumably these members of the legislatures will 
be in a better position to judge of the merits of the individual in ques- 
tion or the* candidates than some other larger electoral college consisting 
of municipal members and others. So I submit to the House that the 
method that this Committee has suggested is quite feasible and is the 
right method to choose a good man who will have authority and dignity 
in India and abroad. 

You will notice that in choosing this method we have taken care to 
prevent any weightage in voting, because legislatures, as has been ex- 
plained, I believe in a note, may not be representative of the population, 
of the numbers of the population. A province like the United Provinces 
or Madras may have a provincial legislature of 300 persons representing 
some 60 or 55 million people — I do not know how many. Another legis- 
lature may have 50 members representing some 50,000. It will be rather 
absurd to give the same weightage and the result will be that a number 
of very small units in the country will really dominate the scene. There- 
fore weightage has been disallowed and some formula will have to be 
worked out carefully to see that voting is according to the population 
of the units concerned. I beg to move. 


9. The National Flag 1 


Mr. President, it is my proud privilege to move the following resolution: 

Resolved that the National Flag of India shall be horizontal tricolour 
of deep saffron ( Keshri ), white and dark green in equal propor- 
tion. In the centre of the white band, there shall be a Wheel in 
navy blue; to represent the Charkha. The design of the Wheel shall 
be that of the Wheel ( Chakra ) which appears on the abacus of 
the Sarnath Lion Capital of Asoka. 2 

The diameter of the Wheel shall approximate to the width of the 
white band. The ratio of the width to the length of the Flag shall 
ordinarily be 2:3. 

1. Speech in the Constituent Assembly, 22 July 1947, Constituent Assembly 
Debates, Official Report , Vol. IV, 1947, pp. 761-767. 

2. The wheel represents the Buddhist Dharma Chakra and was used as an 
emblem by Asoka in the 3rd century B.C. 


66 


THE FRAMING OF THE CONSTITUTION 


This resolution. Sir, is in simple language, in a slightly technical lan- 
guage and there is no glow or warmth in the words that I have read. 
Yet I am sure that many in this House will feel that glow and warmth 
which I feel at the present moment, for behind this resolution and the 
Flag which I have the honour to present to this House for adoption lies 
history, the concentrated history of a, short span in a nation’s existence. 
Nevertheless, sometimes in a brief period we pass through the track of 
centuries. It is: not so much the mere act ofl living that counts but what 
one does in this brief life that is ours; it! is not so much the mere exis- 
tence of a nation that counts but what that nation does during the vari- 
ous periods of its existence; and I do venture to claim that in the past 
quarter of a century or so India has lived and acted in a concentrated 
way and the emotions which have filled the people of India represent not 
merely a brief spell of years but something infinitely more. They have 
gone down into history and tradition and have added themselves on to 
that vast history and tradition which is our heritage in this country. So, 
when I move this resolution, I think of this concentrated history through 
which all of us have passed during the last quarter of a century. Memo- 
ries crowd in upon me. I remember the ups and downs of the great 
struggle for freedom of this great nation. I remember and many in this 
House will remember how we looked up to this Flag not only with 
pride and enthusiasm but with a tingling in our veins; also how, when 
we were sometimes down and out, then again the sight of this Flag gave 
us courage to go on. Then, many who are present here today, many of 
our comrades who have passed, held on to this Flag, some amongst 
them even unto death and handed it over, as they sank, to others to hold 
it aloft. So in this simple form of words, there is much more than will 
be clear on the surface. There is the struggle of the people for freedom 
with all its ups and downs and trials and disasters and there is, finally 
today as I move this resolution, a certain triumph about it — a measure 
of triumph in the conclusion of that struggle. 

Now, I realise fully, as this House must realise, that this triumph of 
ours has been marred in many ways. There have been, especially in the 
past few months, many happenings which cause us sorrow, which has 
gripped our hearts. We have seen parts of this dear motherland of ours 
cut off from the rest. We have seen large numbers of people suffering 
tremendously, large numbers wandering about like waifs and strays, 
without a home. We have seen many other things which I need not re- 
peat to this House, but which we cannot forget. All this sorrow has 
dogged our footsteps. Even' when we have achieved victory and triumph, 
it) still dogs us and we have tremendous problems to face in the present 
and in the future. Nevertheless it is true I think — I hold it to be true — 


67 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

that this moment does represent a triumph and a victorious conclusion 
of all our struggles, for the moment. 

There has been a very great deal of bewailing and moaning about 
various things that have! happened. I am sad, all of us are sad, at heart 
because of those things. But let us distinguish that from the other fact 
of triumph, because there is triumph in victory, in what has happened. 

It is no small thing that that great and mighty empire which has repre- 
sented imperialist domination in this country has decided to end its days 
here. That v/as the objective we aimed at. 

We have attained that objective or shall attain it very soon. Of that 
there is no doubt. We have not attained the objective exactly in the form 
in which we wanted it. The troubles and other things that accompanied 
our-achievement are not to our liking. But we must remember that it is 
very seldom that people realise the dreams that they have dreamt. It is 
very seldom that the aims and objectives with which we start are achiev- 
ed in their entirety in life, in an individual’s life or in a nation’s life. 

We have many examples before us. We need not go into the distant 
past. We have examples in the present or in the recent past. Some years 
back, a great war was waged, a world war bringing terrible misery to 
mankind. That war was meant for freedom and democracy and the rest. 
The war ended in! the triumph of those who said they stood for freedom 
and democracy. Yet, hardly had that war ended when there were rumours 
of fresh wars and fresh conflicts. 

Three days ago, this House and this country and the world was shock- 
ed by the brutal murder in a neighbouring country of the leaders of the 
nation . 3 Today one reads in the papers of an attack by an imperialist 
power on a friendly country in South-East Asia . 4 Freedom is still far 
off in this world and nations, all nations in greater or lesser degree, are 
struggling for their freedom. If we in the present have not exactly achiev- 
ed what we aimed at, it is not surprising. There is nothing in it to be 
ashamed of. For I do think our achievement is no small achievement. 
It is a very considerable achievement, a great achievement. Let no man 
run it down because other things have happened which are not to our 
liking. Let us keep these two things apart. Look at any country in the 
wide world. Where is the country today, including the great and big 
powers, which is not full of terrible problems, which is not in some way, 
politically and economically, striving for freedom which somehow or 
other eludes its grasp? The problems of India in the wider context do 

3. Aung San, Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Burma, and four 
other ministers were assassinated on 19 July 1947. 

4. On 21 July 1947, Batavia, the Capital of Indonesia, was bombed by Dutch 
planes. 


68 


THE FRAMING OF THE CONSTITUTION 


not appear to be terrible. The problems are not anything new to us. 
We have faced many disagreeable things in the past. We have not held 
back. We shall face all* the other disagreeable things that face us in the 
present or may do so in the future and we shall not flinch and we shall 
not falter and we shall not quit. 

So, in spite of everything that surrounds us, it is in no spirit of down- 
heartedness that I stand up in praise of this nation for what it has achiev- 
ed. It is right and proper that at this moment we should adopt the sym- 
bol of this achievement, the symbol of freedom. Now what is this 
freedom in its entirety and for all humanity? What is freedom and 
what is the struggle for freedom and when does it end? As soon 
as you take one step forward and achieve something, further steps 
come up before you. There will be no full freedom in this country or in 
the world as long as a single human being is un-free. There will be no 
complete freedom as long as there is starvation, hunger, lack of clothing, 
lack of necessaries of life and lack of opportunity of growth for every 
single human being, man, woman and child in the country. We aim at 
that. We may not accomplish that because it is a terrific task. But we 
shall do our utmost to accomplish that task and hope that our successors, 
when they come, will have an easier path to pursue. But there is no end- 
ing to that road to freedom. As we go ahead just as we sometimes in our 
vanity aim at perfection, perfection never comes. But if we try hard 
enough we do approach the goal step by step. When we increase the hap- 
piness of the people, we increase their stature in many ways and we 
proceed to our goal. I do not know if there is an end to this or not, 
but we proceed towards some kind of consummation which in effect 


never ends. 

So I present this Flag to you. This resolution defines the Flag which 
I trust you will adopt. In a sense this Flag was adopted, not by a formal 
resolution, but by popular acclaim and usage, adopted much more by 
the sacrifice that surrounded it in the past few decades. We are in a 
sense only ratifying that popular adoption. It is a Flag which has been 
variously described. Some people, having misunderstood its significance, 
have thought of it in communal terms and believe that some part of it 
represents this community or that. But I may say that when this Flag 
was devised there was no communal significance attached to it. We 
thought of a design for a. Flag which was beautiful, because the symbol 
of a nation must be beautiful to look at. We thought of a Flag which 
would in its combination and in its separate parts would somehow re- 
present the spirit of the nation, the tradition of the nation, that mixed 
spirit and tradition which has grown up through thousands of years m 
India So, we devised this Flag. Perhaps 1 am partial but I do think that 


69 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


it is a very beautiful Flag to look at purely from the point of view of 
artistry, and it has come to symbolise many other beautiful tilings, things 
of the spirit, things of the mind, that give value to the individual’s life 
and to the nation’s life, for a nation docs not live merely by material 
things, although they are highly important. It is important that we should 
have the good things of the world, the material possessions of the world, 
that our people should have the necessaries of life. That is of the utmost 
importance. Nevertheless, a nation, and especially a nation like India with 
an immemorial past, lives by other things also, the things of the spirit. 
If India had not been associated with these ideals and things of the spirit 
during these thousands of years, what would India have been? It has 
gone through a very great deal of misery and degradation in the past, 
but somehow even in the depths of degradation, the head of India has 
been held high, the thought of India has been high, and the ideals of 
India have been high. So we have gone through these tremendous ages 
and we stand up today in proud thankfulness for our past and even more 
so for the future that is to come for which we are going to work and for 
which our successors are going to work. It is our privilege and of those 
assembled here to mark the transition in a particular way, in a way that 
will be remembered. 

I began by saying that it is my proud privilege to be ordered to move 
this resolution. Now, Sir, may I say a few words about this particular 
Flag? It will be'seen that there is; a slight variation from the one many 
of us have used during these past years. The colours are the same, a 
deep saffron, a white and a dark green. In the white previously there 
was the charkha which symbolised the common man in India, which 
symbolised the masses of the people, which symbolised their industry 
and which came to us from the message which Mahatma Gandhi deliver- 
ed. Now, this particular charkha symbol has been slightly varied in this 
Flag, not taken away at all. Why then has this been varied? Normally 
speaking, the symbol on one side of the Flag should be exactly the same 
as on the other side. Otherwise, there is a difficulty which goes against 
the rules. Now, the charkha, as it appeared previously on the Flag, had 
the wheel on one side and the spindle on the other. If you sec the other 
side of the Flag, the spindle comes the other way and the wheel comes 
this way; if it docs not do so, it is not proportionate, because the wheel 
must be towards the pole, not towards the end of the Flag. There was 
this practical difficulty. Therefore, after considerable thought we were of 
course convinced that this great symbol which had enthused people 
should continue but that it should continue in a slightly different form, 
that the wheel should be there, not the rest of the charkha, that is the 
spindle and the string which created this confusion, that the essential 


70 


THE FRAMING OF THE CONSTITUTION 


part of the charkha should be there, that is the wheel. So, the old tradi- 
tion continues in regard to the charkha and the wheel. But what type 
of wheel should we have? Our minds went back to many wheels but 
notably one famous wheel, which had appeared in many places and 
which all of us have seen, the one at the top of the capital of the Asoka 
column and in many other places. That wheel is a symbol of India’s 
ancient culture, it is a symbol of the many things that India had stood 
for through the ages. So we thought that this chakra emblem should 
be there and that wheel appears. For my part, I am exceedingly happy 
that in this sense indirectly we have associated with this Flag of ours 
not only this emblem but in a sense the name of Asoka, one of the most 
magnificent names not only in India’s history but in world history. It is 
well that at this moment of strife, conflict and intolerance, our minds 
should go back towards what India stood for in the ancient days and 
what it has stood for, I hope and believe, essentially throughout the ages 
in spite of mistakes and errors and degradations from time to time. For, 
if India had not stood for something very great, I do not think that 
India could have survived and carried on its cultural traditions in a 
more or less continuous manner through these vast ages. It carried on 
its cultural tradition, not unchanging, not rigid, but always keeping its 
essence, always adapting itself to new developments, to new influences. 
That has been the tradition of India, always to put out fresh blooms and 
flowers, always receptive to the good things that it received, sometimes 
receptive to bad things also, but always true to her ancient culture. All 
manner of new influences through thousands of years have influenced us, 
while we influenced them tremendously also, for you will remember that 
India has not been in the past a tight little narrow country, disdaining 
other countries. India throughout the long ages of her history has been 
connected with other countries, not only connected with other countries, 
but has been an international centre, sending out her people abroad to 
far off countries carrying her message and receiving the message of other 
countries in exchange, but India was strong enough to remain embedded 
on the foundations on which she was built, although changes, many 
changes, have taken place. The strength of India, it has been said, con- 
sists in this strong foundation. It consists also in its amazing capacity 
to receive, to adapt what it wants to adapt, not to reject because some- 
thing is outside its scope, but to accept and receive everything. It is 
folly for any nation or race to think that it can only give to and not 
receive from the rest of the world. Once a nation or a race begins to 
think like that, it becomes rigid, it becomes ungrowing; it grows back- 
wards and decays. In fact, if India’s history can be traced, India’s periods 
of decay are those when jt closed herself up into a shell and refused to 


71 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


receive or to look at the outside world. India’s greatest periods are those 
when she stretched her hands to others in far off countries, sent her 
emissaries, ambassadors, her trade agents and merchants to these coun- 
tries and received ambassadors and emissaries from abroad. 

Now because I have mentioned the name of Asoka I should like you 
to think that the Asokan period in Indian history was essentially an 
international period of Indian h 5 story. It was not a narrowly national 
period. It was a period when India’s ambassadors went abroad to far 
countries and went abroad not in the way of an empire and imperialism 
but as ambassadors of peace and culture and goodwill. 

Therefore this Flag that I have the honour to present to you is not, 

I hope and trust, a Flag of empire, a Flag of imperialism, a Flag of 
domination over anybody, but a Flag of freedom not only for ourselves, 
but a symbol of freedom to all people who may see it. And wherever 
it may go — and I hope it will go far, — not only where Indians dwell as 
our ambassadors and ministers but across the far seas where it may be 
carried by Indian ships, wherever it may go it will bring a message, I 
hope, of freedom to those people, a message of comradeship, a message 
that India wants to be friends with every country of the world and India 
wants to help any people who seek freedom. That I hope will be the 
message of this Flag everywhere and I hope that in the freedom that is 
coming to us, we will not do what many other people or some other peo- 
ple have unfortunately done, that is, in a new found strength suddenly 
to expand and become imperialistic in design. If that happened that 
would be a terrible ending to our struggle for freedom. But there is that 
danger and, therefore, I venture to remind this House of it — although 
this House needs no reminder — there is this danger in a country sud- 
denly unshackled in stretching out its arms and legs and trying to hit 
out at other people. And if we do that we become just like other nations 
who seem to live in a kind of succession of conflicts and preparation for 
conflict. That is the world today unfortunately. 

In some degree I have been responsible for the foreign policy during 
the past few months and always the question is asked here or elsewhere: 
“What is your foreign policy? To what group do you adhere to in this 
warring world?” Right at the beginning I venture to* say that we propose 
to belong to no power group. We propose to function as far as we can 
as peace-makers and peace-bringers because today we are not strong 
enough to be able to have our way. But at any rate we propose to avoid 
all entanglements with power politics in the world. It is not completely 
possible to do that in this complicated world of ours, but certainly we 
are going to do our utmost to that end. 

It is stated in this resolution that the ratio of the width to the length 


72 


THE FRAMING OF THE CONSTITUTION 


of the Flag shall ordinarily be 2:3. Now you will notice the word 
“ordinarily”. There is no absolute standard about the ratio because the 
same Flag on a particular occasion may have a certain ratio that might 
be more suitable or on any other occasion in another place the ratio 
might differ slightly. So there is no compulsion about this ratio. But 
generally speaking, the ratio of 2:3 is a proper ratio. Sometimes the ratio 
2:1 may be suitable for a flag flying on a building. Whatever the ratio 
may be, the point is not so much the relative length and breadth, but 
the essential design. 

So, Sir, now I would present to you not only the resolution but the 
Flag itself. 

There are two of these National Flags before you. One is on silk — 
the one I am holding — and the other on the other side is of cotton 
khadi. 

I beg to move this resolution. 


10. To J.B. Kripalani 1 


New Delhi 
23 July 1947 


My dear President, 

I am very sorry at my inability to attend the party meeting to be held 
at 6 this evening. As I am in charge of the Union Constitution report, it 
was my special duty to attend the meeting when this was being consider- 
ed. Unfortunately I have got rather important engagements just at that 
time which will take me to about 8 o’clock or even later, and I cannot 
postpone these engagements. May I request you to convey my apologies 
to the meeting? 


2. There is one matter which has been troubling me greatly. As Chair- 
man of the Union Constitution Committee, I have naturally to place the 
report of that committee and to stand by it. The committee considered 
the matter at considerable length and came to certain conclusions, often 
enough unanimously. Now if any vital change is made in the party meet- 
ing to this report, I am placed in a somewhat false position. On the one 
hand I am supposed to carry out the party mandate, on the other band, 
as a member and Chairman of my committee, I have to hold to their 


1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 


73 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


decisions. If in addition I myself am strongly of opinion that the com- 
mittee’s decision is the right one, then it becomes still more difficult for 
me to oppose that decision. As the person in charge of the motion, T 
cannot remain silent. I have to say something this way or that way. This, 
of course, normally applies to important and vital matters only. 

3. It may so happen that because of a party decision on a vital matter 
by a relatively small majority, the decision of the Constituent Assembly 
might be ultimately a minority decision. In a matter of framing the con- 
stitution and the fundamental law of the nation it seems to me very 
undesirable that there should be the possibility of such minority deci- 
sions. An additional difficulty is created by the fact that some of us are 
in charge of Government and might continue to be so. The responsibility, 
therefore, has to be shouldered by us even though the decision is not 
in conformity with our own ideas, and we cannot, therefore, say any- 
thing in favour of it. 

4. The obvious course seems to me to be for those who are in line 
with these decisions to shoulder this responsibility and give effect to 
them. Of course we must abide by any decision of the Constituent As- 
sembly. What troubles me is that owing to some decision of the party 
meeting we are not even able to put forward our viewpoint before the 
Constituent Assembly and the final decision of the Assembly is not real- 
ly a majority decision on merits. This kind of thing is likely to produce 
an unfavourable impression in the country. 

5. An incident happened today which bears on this difficulty. In the 
discussion on the Governor’s powers, the mover of the motion, Sardar 
Vallabhbhai Patel, had given expression to his views right at the begin- 
ning. In accordance with that and in accordance with the joint decision 
of the Union Constitution Committee and the Provincial Constitution 
Committee, an amendment was tabled by Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant. 
The party, however, decided against it and Pandit Pant did not move 
the amendment himself. But in the course of the discussion his name 
was brought forward and he felt it incumbent on himself to express his 
own viewpoint. Some of us at least entirely agreed with that viewpoint. 
But we remained silent. This procedure seems to me somehow not to be 
the right one. 

6. I realise fully that it is desirable for the party to hold together and 
work as a unified group. At the same time it seems to me essential that 
vital matters should not be disposed of as' if they were party issues. We 


74 


THE FRAMING OF THE CONSTITUTION 


are: moving in a larger plane now and have the responsibility of carrying 
the country with us. We have, therefore, to devise some method of keep- 
ing party discipline in so far as possible and at the same time to allow 
latitude in the Constituent Assembly for an important subject to be fully 
considered and for members to express their views upon it with freedom. 
I am placing this difficulty of mine before you so that you might kindly 
place it before the party meeting and arrive at some solution. The diffi- 
culty is enhanced if any decision seems to go contrary to Congress re- 
solutions and practice to which we have been bound for so long. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


11. The Qualification of Age for the President 1 


I beg to move that Clause 3 be adopted. It runs as follows: 

Every citizen of the Federation who has completed the age of thirty- 
five years and is qualified for election as a member of the House 
of the People shall be eligible for election as President. 

This is a very simple proposition and I do not think any argument is 
needed to support. It has been believed that a person who has not achiev- 
ed much by the age of 35 is not going to do much later. Nevertheless, 
normally speaking in India, and more especially in other places, men 
up to 35 sometimes do not even get a chance to achieve much. Others 
hold the field. In any case, the age 35 is not a high limit. I think it is 
a fair limit. It means that a person who is chosen shall have at least a 
dozen years or so of experience. I think it is therefore a fairly safe age 
for debarring the candidates. I hope the House will accept the Clause. 
(At this point H.V. Kamath sought a clarification as to whether 
“reached the age of 35 years”, the phrase used in the Provincial 
Constitution, and “completed the age of 35 years” meant the same.) 

1. Speech in the Constituent Assembly, 24 July 1947. Constituent Assembly 
Debates, Officiat Report, Vol. IV, 1947, p. 854. 


75 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


I am sorry I did not hear a word of what Mr. Kamath said. Anyway 
I am not responsible for the Provincial Constitution. I consider this a 
better wording. To say ‘completed’, means definitely what it says. What 
the other wording means I do not know. 1 2 

2. Thakur Das Bhargava, Rajkrushna Bose and H.V. Kamath withdrew their 
amendments, and Clause 3 was adopted. 


12. The President’s Term and Provision for impeachment' 


Sir, I beg to move: 

(1) The President shall hold office for five years: Provided that — 

(a) a President may by resignation under his hand addressed to 
the Chairman of the Council of States and the Speaker of the House 
of the People resign his office, 

(b) a President may for violation of the Constitution be removed 
from office by impeachment in the manner provided in sub-clause 

( 2 ) . 

(2) (a) When a President is to be impeached for violation of the 
Constitution the charge shall be preferred by either House of the 
Federal Parliament but no proposal to prefer such charge shall be 
adopted by that House except upon a resolution of the House sup- 
ported by not less than two-thirds of the total membership of the 
House. 

(b) When a charge has been so preferred by cither House of the 
Federal Parliament the other House shall investigate the charge or 
cause the charge to be investigated and the President shall have 
the right to appear and to be represented at such investigation. 

(c) If as a result of the investigation a resolution is passed sup- 
ported by not less than two-thirds of the total membership of the 
House by which the charge was investigated or caused to be in- 
vestigated declaring that the charge preferred against the President 

1. Speech in the Constituent Assembly, 24 July 1947. Constituent Assembly 

Debates, Official Report, Vol. TV, 1947, pp. 848-849. 


76 


THE FRAMING OF THE CONSTITUTION 


has been sustained, the resolution shall have the effect of remov- 
ing the President from his office as from the date of resolution. 

(3) A person who holds or who has held office as President shall 
be eligible for re-election once but only once. 

There are, Sir, we might say, three parts of this resolution; one re- 
lating to the term of office — five years. Now, this is not a matter of 
high principle, but after consideration we thought five years will be a 
suitable term. Four will be too little and more than five certainly too 
much. The rest of it deals mostly with the impeachment of the President. 
And lastly, this clause says that a person can only hold office twice, that 
is to say, not only twice successively, or consecutively, but twice alto- 
gether. That means, no man can be President for more than ten years 
altogether in his life. The question, as is well known, has often been dis- 
cussed in the United States of America, and, normally speaking, nobody 
was supposed to be President beyond the second term. In the course 
of the last war, of course, President Roosevelt actually went into the 
fourth term, but, as a matter of fact, ten years is about as much as any 
normal human constitution can bear this heavy burden. Presumably, 
when a person becomes President, he will not be too young. He may be 
in the late forties or fifties and I think it is not right for a person to be 
asked to assume this burden beyond ten years. President Roosevelt, under 
the stress of circumstances, carried on for the fourth term, but he only 
carried on for two or three months after his election. So I submit that 
this rule about not holding office more than twice is a good rule and we 
should adhere to it. 

For the rest, I have little more to say. In case there are amendments, 
I shall deal with them at the end of the debate. 


13. The Emoluments of the President 1 


Sir a great deal has been said about the emoluments of the President. 
It seems to me that it is very difficult to make lists of offices which he 
should not hold. Only a general principle can be laid down and carefully 
no doubt, but subsequently the rest depends a great deal on convention. 

1 Speech in the Constituent Assembly, 24 July 1947. Constituent Assembly 
' Debates, Official Report, Vol. IV, 1947. pp. 863-864. 


77 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


If you start making long lists, it means that there may be many things 
left out which he can do. So, normally speaking, one will have to depend 
upon convention. The point is that he should not be actively connected 
or associated with the management of any gainful office. Obviously, in 
the modern world, if he is at all well-to-do, he will have some shares or 
like Mr. Sri Prakasa he may be a landholder or he may have some other 
property. There is no chance? as far as I can see of Mr. Sri Prakasa being 
prevented from standing for the Presidentship and I would deem it a 
calamity if it were so. So I submit that at this moment one need not go 
further into this question but leave it as it is, — and not only* for the draft- 
ing but for the convention to grow up. 

In one matter I am inclined to agree with what Mr. Santhanam said, 2 
although I do not think it is necessary to put it down, and that is that 
any person in high responsible office should make some kind of disclosure 
of his connections with business and of his holdings, etc. I think there 
would be an advantage in that, whether he is a President or whether he 
is a Minister or any other person in high responsible office. I accept, Sir, 
the amendment moved by Sir N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar, which clarifies 
sub-clause (1). 3 

There is the question I believe of the emoluments and allowances of 
the President. A suggestion has been made 4 that some other w'ord should 
be used instead of “diminished”. After consideration we came to the 
conclusion that “diminished” was the right word. We could use “varied” 
or “increased or diminished” but on the whole “diminished” was consi- 
dered the best. The point is that the legislature has in its power to do 
anything it chooses, but it must not exercise its power to the detriment 
of the person who has been chosen the President. There is no question 
of increasing his allowances or emoluments unless the Parliament so de- 
sires. You need not check Parliament doing anything, but there is the 
slight danger possibly of Parliament or the people making the position of 
the President impossible. Therefore you say it should not be “diminished”. 


2. K. Santhanam had said that the provisions regarding the President holding any 
office of emoluments should be carefully drafted in the final constitution and 
that he should declare his wealth on assuming office. 

3. N. Gopalaswami Ayynngar’s amendment provided that the President should 
not be a member of either the Federal or a Provincial Legislature and should, 
if he be a member, vacate his seat on his election to the office of President. 

4. Sub-clause (4) of clause 4 stated that the emoluments and allowances of the 
President shall not be diminished during his term of office. An amendment 
to substitute the word ‘altered’ for ‘diminished’ was moved by K.T.M. Ahmed 
Ibrahim. 


78 


THE FRAMING OF THE CONSTITUTION 


In these days, one does not quite know, suddenly there might be infla- 
tion and it may affect the situation so much that all normal standards 
of salaries and allowances might have to change. So I don’t think any 
change is needed there. 

Last of all, the amendment moved in regard to the President not being 
a party man — now, I don’t know, but certainly I have a certain sneaking 
sympathy with such a proposition/* But in spite of that it seems to me 
completely impractical. What is a party man? No doubt, one thinks in 
terms of the huge party machines running political elections. But it is 
almost impossible for you to advise all of them. There are all kinds of 
parties and a person does not become bad because he belongs to a small 
party or a big party. Everybody is associated, I am afraid, with some 
group or association. The point is that the President should not function 
as a party man after he is elected. That, on the whole, is so. I am not 
myself clear in my own mind as to what his relation to the party he 
belongs to should be after his election. However, the question does not 
arise. But, in any event, he should function as anyone should function, 
whether he is a party man or not, completely impartially when he is in 
high office. So, Sir, I regret I am unable to accept any amendment except 
Sir N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar’s. 

5. Ram Narayan Singh’s amendment that “the President must not be a party 
man” was withdrawn. 


14. A Five-Year Term for the President 1 


There are two amendments moved to this clause neither of which raises 
any question of high policy; the last one especially stresses an obvious 
thing. It is impossible, practically speaking, for a President removed from 
office to stand for re-election . 2 I do not imagine any high principles are 
involved in this. We are dealing with important matters. If something else 
has to be done about it, it will be done later. 

1. Speech in the Constituent Assembly. 24 July 1947. Constituent Assembly 
Debates , Official Report, Vol. TV, 1947, pp. 852-853. 

2. Syamanandan Sahaya’s amendment to debar any person who had once been 
removed from the office of the President from being eligible for re-election 
was withdrawn. 


79 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


As regards the amendment concerning the term of years, that too is 
not a matter of big policy. 3 We fixed this period for various reasons into 
which I need not go now, one of them being not to just fit in with the 
four-year period of the other elections. Now, many members seem to 
think that, while the elections to the provincial and other legislatures will 
take place once in four years, this alone will take place every five years 
and that after some time it may so happen that the electors will be rather 
old in the sense of being elected three or four years previously. Well, it 
may be that the five-year period for the President will be a fixed term 
unless the President dies or is impeached or something happens to him. 
But, so far as the other provincial, etc. elections are concerned it is 
obvious and it is highly likely that the four-year period will not be strict- 
ly adhered to. Elections will necessarily have to be held from time to 
time. Something may happen; the Ministry might change; it might lose 
the confidence of the House and so many other things may happen and 
there will be so many of the provincial legislatures that you cannot say 
at any time that the membership has remained constant without a change. 
Membership of the legislatures will be changing from year to year or 
from quarter to quarter so that this objection that the “Rashtrapati” will 
be chosen by an electorate which itself has been chosen several years pre- 
viously does not hold at all. There will be a changing electorate all the 
time and the four-year period is only the maximum period. The electorate 
may remain unchanged for one year or 6 months and fresh election will 
take place as it now does. I submit therefore that, in the balance, the 
five-year period is better. 

3. Mahomed Sherif and D.H. Chandrasekharaiya sought to reduce the term of 
the President's office from five years to four. 


15. The Mode of Electing the President 1 


Mr. President, there are many amendments. But the greatest emphasis 
has been laid on one point: the election of the President on the basis of 
adult franchise, i.e. everybody should take part in the election. 2 Another 

1. Speech in the Constituent Assembly, 24 July 1947. Constituent Assembly 
Debates , Official Report , Vol. IV, 1947, pp. 845-847. 

2. Shibbanlal Saxena proposed that the President be elected directly by the 

people on the basis of adult suffrage. 



PRESENTING THE NATIONAL FLAG TO THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY, 
22 JULY 1947 




THE FRAMING OF THE CONSTITUTION 


amendment is that the word “Rashtrapati” should be substituted by the 
vMord Neta or Karandhar . 3 Still another amendment is that the Presi- 
dent should be elected alternatively from the North and the South . 4 
Again, there is an amendment which says that the members of the Upper 
Rouses also should take part in the Presidential election.® There is yet 
another amendment, but I do not know whether it has been moved or 
not. According to this amendment, the President should be elected from 
the States and non-States portion of the Indian Republic (by rotation) 
alternately. Lastly, there is an amendment which deals with the oath of 
allegiance.® 

I regret very much that I cannot accept any of these amendments 
except the one proposing that the word “member” should be substituted 
by “elected member ” 6 7 though the word “elected” is not a definite impro- 
vement. The draft would have thoroughly clarified the point: but in spite 
of this, if you wish to add the word “elected”, I am ready to accept it. 
Something has been said about the oath also. It is obvious that it will 
figure in the Constitution. At this stage, it does not seem necessary. 

So far as the question of the election of the President, from the North 
and the South and from the States or non-States units is concerned, it 
seems to be wrong in principle. It is not desirable that we elect the Presi- 
dent, once from one class and the next time from the other, and framing 
of rules and statutory provisions for this purpose is highly undesirable. 

In answer to the query, as to why members of the Upper Houses 
should not take part in the Presidential election, I submit that there will 
be much difference between the Upper Houses of the States units and 
those of the provinces. I cannot say which of the units will have an 
Upper House. Another point is that the States and the provinces will 
have different standards. Nobody knows what principles the States and 
the provinces will adopt. If this right is conceded to the Upper Houses 
it will create confusion. Therefore, in my opinion the proposition is 
correct that in the Centre, both the Houses shall have the right to take 


3. This amendment was suggested by Gokulbhai D. Bhatt. 

4. Moved by T. Channiah. ... „r r i,„« 

5. Syamanandan Sahaya proposed that the words ,n sub<lausc (2) of 

1 “or where a legislature is bicameral, the members of the Lower House 

6 DH^Chrmdrasetharaiya moved that “the President shall be » , ‘ erna, ^ , ^J; 
ed from the State and the non-State Units”, and that prov.s.on be made or 
,£ PrSidem to take tbe oath of office a, ia the .o.tu.at.on of .be Un.ted 

State, of America .• the mem bers” wherever they occurred, 

to member," be mbt.i.umd »a, moved b, K. Che.kalara,, 

Reddy. 


81 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


part in the Presidential election, and in the units only the Lower Houses. 
There is a complexity which has not been clarified, i.e., whether the units 
will have greater rights than the Centre, whether the members of the 
Central Legislature will have one vote or more to balance the voting 
strength of units. It is for our advisers to make this point clear. There- 
fore, for the present, in my opinion, as I have already stated and as 
has already been printed, it should be left as it is. I have already stated 
in the beginning, and I repeat it once again and if you, too, reflect over 
it, you will arrive at the same conclusion, that it is best to leave this 
choice unfettered. I am not prepared to believe that adult franchise is 
absolutely essential. Obviously, the number of those who will elect the 
members of the Assembly will be in millions and they are expected to 
be propei* persons. Therefore, when the members of the Assembly them- 
selves are being elected by votes of millions where is the necessity for 
electing the President by adult franchise? Therefore if you desire to frame 
and promulgate your Constitution without necessary delay, then we should 
avoid complications; otherwise we will not be able to frame our Constitu- 
tion in the least possible time, and act on it. 

If you want to elect the President by adult franchise, then this would 
mean that we will have to waste much of our time in holding (Presiden- 
tial) elections and we will not be able to act according to our new Con- 
stitution. Therefore, it is my desire that this resolution should be accept- 
ed in the form I have put before you. 

Mahomed Sherif: When you accept the principle of nomination 

why do you not accept this amendment also? 

* * * * 


JN: The question of my accepting or rejecting nomination is not an 

issue. I accept that particular type of nomination which is recorded here- 
in, that is to say, nominees of units and “scientific bodies” should be 
taken . 8 This is not the question. I have already said that the President 
should be elected by the votes of the elected members. 


8. This clause read: “The Council of State shall consist of — 

(i) not more than 10 members nominated by the President in consultation 
with Universities and scientific bodies.” 


82 


THE FRAMING OF THE CONSTITUTION 


16. To Rajendra Prasad 1 


New Delhi 


27 July 1947 


My dear Rajendra Babu, 

I have your letter of the 27th July about the Flag. I quite agree with 
you that flags made for governmental purposes should be of khadi, either 
cotton or silk. Various Government, departments and Provincial Govern- 
ments should be informed of this. 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal 


1. Rajendra Prasad Papers, National Archives of India. 


17. The Mode of Appointment of Prime Minister and 
Council of Ministers 1 


This is a very simple clause, Sir: 

10. There shall be a council of ministers, with the Prime Minister 
at the head, to aid and advise the President in the exercise of his 
functions. 

I beg to move this. 


* * * * 

Sir, I venture to intervene in order to make clear which of the amend- 
ments I am prepared to accept and which not. Four amendments have 
been moved. I may say at the outset that I am prepared to accept Sir 
Gopalaswami Ayyangar’s amendment 2 and not the others. Pandit Bhar- 
gava’s amendment is more or less the same; it is only a question of 
wording. The others raise entirely different issues; for instance, the issue 


Speech in the Constituent Assembly, 28 July 1947. Constituent Assembly 
Debates, Official Report, Vol. IV, 1947, pp. 907, 915-916. 

Gopalaswamy Ayyangar's amendment read: "That at the end of Clause 10, 
the following be added: ‘The Prime Minister shall be appointed by the Presi- 
dent and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice 
of the Prime Minister. The Council shall be collectively responsible to the 
House of the People.”’ 


83 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAIIARLAL NEHRU 

of ministers being elected by proportional representation/* 1 can think of 
nothing more conducive to creating a feeble ministry and a feeble gov- 
ernment than this business of electing them by proportional representa- 
tion; and I would therefore like the House to reject this amendment. 

The other one raises a completely different issue, as to what the nature 
of the constitution should be. For instance, Mr. Karimuddin’s 3 4 amend- 
ment says that “the executive of the Union shall be non-parliamentary, 
in the sense that it should not be removable before the term of the legis- 
lature,” etc. That raises a very fundamental issue of what form you are 
going to give to your constitution, the ministerial parliamentary type or 
the American type. So far we have been proceeding with the building up 
of the constitution in the ministerial sense and I do submit that we can- 
not go back upon it and it will upset the whole scheme and structure of 
the constitution. Therefore 1 regret I cannot accept this amendment of 
Mr. Karimuddin or of Mr. Pocker Sahib. 5 6 

As to the other point raised it is perfectly true that the original draft 
that I placed before the House was not at all clear on various matters. 
It was not clear because there was no intention of drafting it here. These 
are certain indications for future drafting and some things were obviously 
taken for granted. It was taken for granted that the Prime Minister would 
be sent for by the President because he happens to represent the largest 
party or group in the House; further that the Prime Minister would select 
his ministers and further that they would be responsible to the House 
collectively. All that was taken for granted, but perhaps it is better to 
put that down clearly and the amendment moved by Sir Gopalaswami 
Ayyangar puts that down very clearly. Therefore I accept that amend- 
ment and I hope the House also will accept it and reject the others. 0 


3. This amendment read: “There shall be a Council of Ministers elected by 
the National Assembly by a system of proportional representation by single 
transferable vote, and the Council of Ministers shall be responsible to the 
National Assembly.” 

4. Kazi Sycd Karimuddin, a member of the Legislative Assembly of the Central 
Provinces and Bcrar, was nominated to the Constituent Assembly by the 
Muslim League. 

5. B. Pocker, a member of the Madras Legislative Assembly, was nominated to 
the Constituent Assembly by the Muslim League. 

6. Gopalaswami Ayyangar's amendment was adopted. 


84 


THE FRAMING OF THE CONSTITUTION 


18. To Rajendra Prasad 1 


New Delhi 
4 August 1947 


My dear Rajendra Babu, 

I am anxious that the programme for the 14th night and for the 15th 
morning sessions of the Constituent Assembly should be very carefully 
fixed with every detail noted. If this is not done, certain confusion may 
arise or objections might be taken. 


2. For the midnight session I suggest : 

(1) Vande Mataram song, first stanza, sung by a member of the 
Assembly (either Sucheta Kripalani or someone else) — the per- 
son to be informed and prepared. 

(2) Speech by President of the C.A. 

(3) Two minutes’ silence, standing, in memory of those who have 
died in the struggle for freedom in India and elsewhere. 

(4) Choice of Leader. . 

(5) Resolution asking the Leader to convey a message to the Gov- 
ernor-General. 

(6) Speech by Leader. 

(7) Iqbal’s song — Sare Jahan se Achcha — one or two stanzas. 
Adjournment of the Assembly till next morning. 


3. You will notice that I have mentioned two minutes’ silence. I think 
this is desirable and necessary. The resolution should be carefully draft- 
ed. The singer of Iqbal’s song should also be previously chosen and pre- 
pared. He* should be a member of the Assembly. 


4. I think all these proceedings should not take more than 40 minutes, 
perhaps 30. 

15 th Morning Session 

(1) Speech by the Governor-General and reading out of any de- 
claration. 

(2) Speech by President of the C.A. 

(3) Departure of the Governor-General and adjournment of the 
Assembly. 


5. It is for you to consider whether after the departure of the Viceroy 
and before the adjournment some further speeches may be allowed. 

1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 


85 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

6. I do not think there should be any singing on this occasion. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal 


19. To H.V.R. lengar 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 

New Delhi 
5th August 1947 

My dear lengar, 

Tarlok Singh has shown me the draft programme for the night of 14th 
August which you had sent him. I think 11.30 is about the right time 
to begin. It just depends on whether the President wants many speeches 
on the resolution or not. If he wants several speeches, then, perhaps, we 
should start earlier. In any event, I think 11.15 is good enough. 

I should like to consider the terms of the resolution and the pledge 
more carefully. 

As for the songs, I think the three songs to be sung should be Vande 
Mataram, Sure Jahan Se Achcha Hindustan Honiara and Janaganamana; 
only the first stanzas of each. I do not think Jhanda Uncha Ralie 
Harnara is an appropriate song at that time or place. Songs should be 
sung by some member of the Assembly who should be prepared carefully, 
and there should be rehearsal previously. 

I suggest the following programme: 

1. Singing of first verse of Vande Mataram; 

2. Brief speech by the President; 

3. Two minutes’ silence, standing, in memory of all those who have 
died in the struggle for freedom in India and elsewhere; 

4. Resolution; 

(All these to take place before midnight.) 

5. Immediately on the stroke of midnight the pledge to be taken by 
the members of the Constituent Assembly; 

6. Resolution of the Constituent Assembly electing a Leader and ask- 
ing him to convey their message to the Governor-General; 

7. Singing of first few lines of Sare Jahan Se Achcha; 

8. Singing of first verse of Janaganamana. 

The proceedings should end at 12.30. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. Constituent Assembly of India, Constitution Section, File No. CA 111/Cons/ 
47, Ministry of Law, Government of India. 


86 


THE FRAMING OF THE CONSTITUTION 


20. To H.V.R. lengar 1 

New Delhi 
12 August 1947 

My dear lengar, 

In the form of pledge that has been prescribed for members of the Con- 
stituent Assembly, it is stated: “I, , a member of the Constituent 

Assembly of India, do dedicate myself to the service of India and her 
people to the end that this ancient land attain her rightful and honoured 
place in the world and make her full and willing contribution to the pro- 
motion of world peace and welfare of mankind”. 

It seems to me that probably “its” before “rightful” and before “full” 
should be “her”. This sounds better. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. Constituent Assembly of India, Constitution Section, File No. CA 111/Cons/ 
47, Ministry of Law, Government of India. 


87 












■ 








3 

THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


. > 





THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


1. Letter from the Congress President to Lord Mountbatten 1 


New Dellii 
2 June 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

The Congress Working Committee have considered the statement 2 which 
H.M.G. propose to make tomorrow and a copy of which you were good 
enough to give me this morning. 

2. The proposals contained in this statement arc of far reaching 
importance and affect the whole future of India. These envisage the pos- 
sibility of certain parts of India seceding from the rest. 


3. As you know, the Congress has consistently upheld that the unity 
of India should be maintained. Ever since its inception, the Congress has 
worked towards the realisation of a free and united India. Any proposal, 
therefore, which might bring about separation of a part of India from 
the rest is painful to contemplate and, in the opinion of the Congress, 
is harmful to all the parties concerned. Such a proposal would normally 
have to be considered by the All India Congress Committee. The Work- 
ing Committee would make its recommendations to that Committee, but 
the final decision would rest with the All India Congress Committee, or 
the full session of the Congress itself. 


4. We have realized, however, that in the peculiar and abnormal 
situation of today it is not possible to delay matters and decisions have 
to be reached rapidly. There has been far too much uncertainty in the 
country and this has led to instability and to violence on a large scale. 


1 . 

2 . 


Drafted by Nehru. The Transfer of Power J 942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 66*68. 

On 3 June 1947 the British Government announced that they proposed “to 
introduce legislation during the current session for the transfer of power this 
year) on a Dominion status basis to one or two successor authorities” without 
prejudice to the right of the Indian Constituent Assemblies to decide whether 
or not the part of India in respect of which they had authority would remain 
within the British Commonwealth. The possibility of the partition of India 
was also envisaged and the M.L.A.s of Bengal and the Punjab were to decide 
whether these provinces would be partitioned. A notional partition or provi- 
sional boundaries were also indicated. Later two Boundary Commissions were 
to be set up for a detailed investigation of boundary questions. In case the 
Punjab was partitioned the N.W.F.P. would be given an opportunity to re- 
consider its position by holding a referendum to decide whether its constitution 
would be framed in the existing Constituent Assembly or in a new and 
separate Constituent Assembly. Sind and British Baluchistan were also given 
the rieht to take their own decisions on these alternatives. 


91 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWATIARLAL NEHRU 


Wc have also appreciated that the negotiations that have been going on 
for some time between you and Indian leaders had of necessity to be 
secret. 

5. My Committee considered the principles underlying the present 
proposals about a month ago and generally accepted them. This accep- 
tance was conveyed to you in paragraph 12 of the letter dated 1st May 
1947 which Shri Jawaharlal Nehru wrote to you. 3 

6. As wc have stated on many occasions, wc accepted in its entirety 
the Cabinet Mission’s Statement of 16th May 1946 as well as the sub- 
sequent interpretation thereof dated 6th December 1946. We have indeed 
been acting in accordance with it and the Constituent Assembly which 
was formed in terms of the Cabinet Mission’s plan has been functioning 
for nearly six months. We arc still prepared to adhere to that plan. In 
view, however, of subsequent events and the situation today, we are will- 
ing to accdpt as a variation of that plan the proposals now being made. 

7. I do not wish to enter into any detailed examination of the pro- 
posed statement of H.M.G. It has been produced after considerable con- 
sultation and I am desired to say by my Committee that we arc prepared 
to accept it and to recommend to the All India Congress Committee to 
do likewise. We do so in the earnest hope that this will mean a settle- 
ment. We feel that the situation in India, political and economic, as well 
as communal, demands more than ever a peaceful approach to all our 
problems. These problems cannot be solved by methods of violence, 
and there can be no submission to such methods. 

8. While we are willing to accept the proposals made by H.M.G., my 
Committee desire to emphasize that they arc doing so in order to achieve 
a final settlement. This is dependent on the acceptance of the proposals 
by the Muslim League and a clear understanding that no further claims 
will be put forward. There has been enough misunderstanding in the 
past and in order to avoid this in the future it is necessary to have ex- 
plicit statements in writing in regard to those proposals. 

9. Wc believe as fully as ever in a united India. The unity wc aim 
at is not that of compulsion but of friendship and cooperation. Wc ear- 
nestly trust that when present passions have subsided our problems will 
be viewed in their proper perspective and a willing union of all parts of 
India will result therefrom. 

3. See Selected Works (Second Series), Vol. 2. pp. 106-112. 


92 


THE TRANSFER OF TOWER 


10. There are some matters, however, to which I should like to draw 
your attention. My Committee realise that the proposals being put for- 
ward may result in injury to the Sikhs unless great care is taken and 
their peculiar position in the Punjab is fully appreciated. We are aware 
that H.M.G. and you are anxious to protect all legitimate Sikh interests. 
The matter will have to be considered by the Boundary Commission pro- 
vided for as we earnestly trust that all other factors, apart from popula- 
tion, will be taken fully' into consideration. The Sikhs have played a vital 
role in developing a considerable part of the Punjab. They have been 
pioneers in the canal areas and have converted by their labours the 
desert into the richest part of the Punjab. It has been made clear in the 
document that the notional partition is of a purely temporary character 
and the final boundaries will be determined by the Boundary Commission. 

11. In the last sentence of paragraph 9 it is stated that “until the re- 
port of the' Boundary Commission has been put into effect, the pro- 
visional boundary as indicated in the appendix will be used.” It is not 
quite clear to what this refers and what the use will be. It is well known 
that the notional division ignores other important factors and that the 
Sikhs arc distressed by it.' If any further use is made of this notional 
division for administrative or other purposes, this will inevitably affect 
the final division and will give rise to a great deal of apprehension in the 
minds of the Sikhs. We would, therefore, urge you not to apply that 
notional division for any administrative purpose during the interim period. 
This would be in keeping with the spirit of the document and with what 
you conveyed to us this morning. 

12. In paragraph 11 of the statement reference is made to a referen- 
dum in the N.W.F. Province. There has been a growing demand in the 
province for independence and subsequent decision as to their relation 
with the rest of India. The referendum should also provide for this. 

13. In paragraph 20 of the statement, which we are told is an addition 
to the original draft, the last sentence refers to the right of the Consti- 
tuent Assemblies to decide in due course whether or not India or any part 
of it will remain within the British Commonwealth. It seems to us ex- 
tremely undesirable and likely to lead to friction if the relations of Bri- 


4. The basis of the notional division was between the Muslim and the non- 
Muslim populations. In the appendix to the statement a list of the Muslim 
majority districts of Bengal and the Punjab according to the 1941 census was 
given. 


93 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


tain with the Indian Union and the seceding parts of it are on a differ- 
ential basis. We should, therefore, like to make it clear that we cannot 
be consenting parties to any such development. 

14. In view of the importance of the proposals and decisions being 
made, my Committee intend to convene a meeting of the All India Con- 
gress Committee at an early date. They propose to recommend the accep- 
tance generally of the statement of H.M.G. as a settlement of our political 
and communal problems. 

Yours sincerely, 
J.B. Kripalani 


2. Mountbatten's Discussions with Indian Leaders 1 


I 

No. 1284-S. My telegram 1277-S. Congress point contained in para- 
graph 5 2 seemed to me so dangerous that it might well have wrecked 
the; whole chance of agreement, since it was clear that Congress wanted 
H.M.G. to give an assurance that Pakistan would be expelled from the 
Commonwealth if the rest of India wished to secede. 

2. V.P. Menon . . . rushed round to Patel and pointed out that H.M.G. 
could never be expected to agree to such a proposal which negatives 
the whole principle of Dominion Status, and urged him to drop it. 

3. I sent for Nehru half an hour before the meeting and told him the 
same thing. I told him that I did not even intend to mention at the 
meeting that this suggestion had been made. Both Patel and Nehru 
agreed to this course. 

1. 2 June 1947. Here are printed three reports. The first two reports of the 
talk, held with Nehru and Patel before the commencement of the meeting 
are found in Mountbatten’s telegram to the Secretary of State dated 3 June 
1947 and in Viceroy’s Personal Report dated 5 ’June 1947, printed in The 
Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 104-105 and p. 162 respectively. The third 
report is in the minutes of the meeting printed in The Transfer of Power 
1942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 45-47. 

2. See the preceding item, para. 13. 


94 


THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


4. In the Congress letter the following paragraph also appeared: “In 
paragraph 11 of the Statement reference is made to a referendum in 
the N.W.F. Province. There has been a growing demand in the province 
for independence and subsequent decision as to their relation with the 
rest of India. The referendum should also provide for this.” V.P. Menon 
pointed out to Patel and I pointed out to Nehru that since it was at 
Nehru’s own request that I had dropped the original proposal to allow 
every province to vote for Pakistan, Hindustan or independence, they 
could hardly expect me to reintroduce it at this stage. Nehru quite 
openly admitted that the N.W.F.P. could not possibly stand by itself, 
and it became clear to me that this was a device to free Khan Sahib’s 
party from the odium of being connected with Congress during the re- 
ferendum period, since Nehru spoke about Khan Sahib wishing to join 
the Union of India at a subsequent stage. I told Nehru I had no inten- 
tion of raising this at the meeting, and he accepted my ruling on this. 

5. He also asked that the referendum should be based on adult fran- 
chise. I told him that this was quite impracticable in the time available, 
and rejected it. 


II 

22. I called an early morning meeting of my staff to discuss the two 
main objections raised by Congress, and I despatched V.P. Menon to 
see Patel, and invited Nehru to come at 9.30 a.m. to see me before the 
meeting. 

23. The line I took about these two points with Nehru was as follows: — 

(a) The Congress request to allow the N.W.F.P. referendum to in- 
clude a third choice for independence could not be accepted 

unless the Muslim League leaders agreed to it, which Nehru admitted 
was out of the question. I further pointed out that it was at Nehru’s 
own request that I had removed the choice of independence in the case 
of Bengal and other provinces to avoid “Balkanisation”. I expressed sur- 
prise that he should have been a party to such a manoeuvre, the more 
so since he admitted that this province could not stand on its own, and 
would eventually have to join up with one side or the other in any case. 

(b) The last sentence of the new paragraph 20 produced a strong 
reaction. 

This reads as follows: — 

This will be without prejudice to the right of the Indian Constituent 
Assemblies to decide in due course whether or not the part of India 


95 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


in respect of which they have authority will remain within the Bri- 
tish Commonwealth. 

It may be remembered that this was the sentence which I thought in 
London might give trouble and which I had favoured omitting. Nehru 
began by saying he did not doubt my sincerity or that of His Majesty’s 
Government, but that this sentence drew attention to the fact that Pakis- 
tan would be allowed to remain within the Commonwealth even if Hin- 
dustan wished to withdraw. I pointed out that what the sentence really 
drew attention to was the fact that either side could, withdraw whenever 
they liked. Nehru replied “But everybody knows that; why did you have 
to draw public attention to the fact that one side could stay in if the 
other side withdraws?” 

I replied that this was done from motives of honesty. He argued that 
His Majesty’s Government could not be a party to allowing Pakistan to 
remain in the Empire if Hindustan wished eventually to withdraw. I 
pointed out that His Majesty’s Government did not run the Common- 
wealth; that all the States in it were free and equal partners; and that 
the only method open to him for getting Pakistan out would be either by 
persuading them to withdraw at the same time as Hindustan, or raising 
the matter at a Commonwealth conference and getting the other Domi- 
nions to agree to this course. Finally I told him that I had no intention 
of raising such a controversial matter which w r ould only infuriate Mr. 
Jinnah. We then went into the meeting. 

HI 

The Viceroy asked the leaders to take copies of this statement to their 
Working Committees and discuss it with them that day. He explained 
that he felt that it would be asking the Indian leaders to go against their 
consciences if he requested full agreement. He was, however, asking them 
to accept it in a peaceful spirit and to make it work without bloodshed, 
which would be the inevitable consequence if they did not accept it. 

Pandit Nehru asked for a further definition of the difference between 
agreement and acceptance. The Viceroy explained that agreement would 
imply belief that the right principles were being employed. He had had 
to violate the principles of both sides, so could not ask for complete 
agreement. What he asked, was for acceptance, in order to denote belief 
that the plan was a fair and sincere solution for the good of the coun- 
try.* Pandit Nehru stated that there could never be complete approval of 
the plan from Congress, but, on the balance, they accepted it. 

Pandit Nehru pointed out that he and Sardar Patel had been committ- 
ing themselves, step by step, to the present plan and had given their per- 
sonal assurances. It had been difficult for them to go ahead as individuals 


96 



at mi CONFE-RFNCI OF Ll-ADIRS WITH LORD MOUNTBATTFN, 2 JUNE l l M7 



AT THE A.I.C.C. SESSION, NEW DELHI, 14 JUNE 1947 


THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


and in their representative capacities without consulting their colleagues, 
including the Congress President. The Congress Working Committee had 
also considered the broad outlines of the plan. He would let the Viceroy 
know what that Committee felt of it later that day. The next stage would 
be a meeting of the! larger body, the All-India Congress Committee. This 
body might feel hurt that they had not been consulted earlier. But owing 
to the peculiar nature of the case, the leaders themselves had had to make 
decisions. They had had to take the responsibility on their own shoulders. 
The difficulty lay in the circumstances. He and his colleagues were caught 
in the tempo of events. The urgency of the situation made it difficult for 
them to be vague. 

Pandit Nehru said that a letter would be sent in to the Viceroy that 
evening giving an account of the Congress Working Committee’s reac- 
tion to the statement . 3 

* * * * 

Mr. Jinnah agreed to make such a broadcast, although he said that 
it would be difficult for him . 4 Pandit Nehru also agreed to do so and 
said that he would be definite in his broadcast. Pandit Nehru also made 
the suggestion that Sardar Baldev Singh should broadcast. 

* * * * 

The Viceroy said that he was prepared to let the leaders know what he 
was going to say in his broadcast the following day. 

* * * * 

It was finally agreed that Pandit Nehru, Mr. Jinnah and Sardar Baldev 
Singh should bring their scripts to the meeting the following day and 
read them out there. 


3 See the preceding item. 

4. Mountbatten had said that he intended to make a broadcast the following 
evening and requested Nehru and Jinnah also to broadcast immediately after 
it. 


97 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

3. On the New Constitutional Proposals' 


Friends and Comrades, 

Nearly nine months ago, soon after my assumption of office, I spoke to 
you from this place . 1 2 I told you then that we were on the march and 
the goal had still to be reached. There were many difficulties and obsta- 
cles on the way and our journey’s end might not be near, for that end 
was not the assumption of office in the Government of India, but the 
achievement of the full independence of India and the establishment of 
a cooperative commonwealth in which all will be equal sharers in oppor- 
tunity, and in all things that give meaning and value to life. 

Nine months have passed, months of sore trial and difficulty, of anxiety 
and sometimes even of heart-break. Yet, looking back at this period with 
its suffering and sorrow for our people, there is much on the credit side 
also, for India has advanced nationally and internationally and is res- 
pected today in the councils of the world. In the domestic sphere, some- 
thing substantial has been achieved, though the burden on the common 
man still continues to be terribly heavy, and millions lack food and clothes 
and other necessaries of life. 

Many vast schemes of development are nearly ready, and yet it is true 
that most of our dreams about the brave things we are going to accom- 
plish, have still to be realized. You know well the difficulties which the 
country has had to face, economic, political and communal. These months 
have been full of tragedy for miliions and the burden on those who had 
the governance of the country in their hands has been great indeed. My 
mind is heavy with the thought of the sufferings of our people in the 
areas of disturbance, the thousands who are dead and those, especially 
our womenfolk, who have suffered agony worse than death. To their fami- 
lies and to innumerable people who have been uprooted from their homes 
and rendered destitutes, I offer my deep sympathy and assurance that 
we shall do all in our power to bring relief. We must see to it that such 
tragedies do not happen again. At no time have we lost faith in the great 
destiny of India which takes shape even though with travail and suffering. 
My great regret has been that during this period owing to excess of work 
I have been unable to visit the numerous towns and villages of India as 
I used to do to meet my people and to learn about their troubles at first 
hand. 

1. Broadcast from AH India Radio, New Delhi, 3 June 1947. The Hindustan 
Times, 4 June 1947. 

2. See Selected Works (Second Series), Vol. 1, pp. 404-408. 


98 


THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


Today I am speaking to you on another historic occasion, when a vital 
change affecting the future of India is proposed. You have just heard an 
announcement on behalf of the British Government. 3 This announcement 
lays down the procedure for self-determination in certain areas of India. 
It envisages on the one hand the possibility of these areas seceding from 
India; on the other, it promises a big advance towards complete inde- 
pendence. Such a big change must have the full concurrence of the peo- 
ple before effect can be given to it, for it must always be remember- 
ed that the future of India can only be decided by the peo- 
ple of India and not by any outside authority, however friendly. These 
proposals will be .placed soon before the representative Assemblies of the 
people for consideration. But meanwhile the sands of time run out and 
decisions cannot await the normal course of events. So, while we must 


necessarily abide by what the people finally decide, we have to come to 
certain decisions ourselves, and to recommend them to the people for 
acceptance. We have, therefore, decided to accept these proposals and 
to recommend, to our larger Committees, that they do likewise. It is with 
no joy in my heart that I commend these proposals to you, though I 
have no doubt in my mind that this is the right course, for generations 
we have dreamt and struggled for a free and independent united India. 
The proposal to allow certain parts to secede, if they so will, is painful 
for any of us to contemplate. Nevertheless, I am convinced that our 
present decision is the right one even from the larger viewpoint. The 
united India that we have laboured for was not one of compulsion and 
coercion, but a free and a willing association of a free people. It may be 
that in this way we shaU reach that united India sooner than otherwise 
and that she will have a stronger and more secure foundation. We are 
little men serving great causes, but because the cause is great, something 
of that greatness falls upon us also. Mighty forces are at work in the 
world today and in India, and I have no doubt that we are ushering in 
a period of greatness for India. The India of geography, of history and 
tradition, the India of our minds and hearts, cannot change. On this his- 
toric occasion each one of us must pray that he might be guided aright 
in the service of the motherland and of humanity at large. We stand on 
a watershed, dividing the past from the future. Let us bury that past m 
so far as it is bad and forget all bitterness and recrimination. Let there be 
moderation in speech and writing. Let there be s tr e n^ and perseve^ 
ance in adhering to the cause and the ideals we have at heart. Let us fa<re 
the future not with easy optimism or with any complacency or weakness 
but with confidence and a firm faith in India. 


3. See ante, item 1, fn. 2. 


99 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


There has been violence — shameful, degrading and revolting violence — 
in various parts of the country. This must end. We are determined to end 
it. We must make it clear that political ends are not to be achieved by 
methods of violence now or in the future. On this, the eve of great changes 
in India, we have to make a fresh start with clear vision and a firm 
mind with steadfastness and tolerance and a stout heart. We should not 
wish ill to anyone, but think always of every Indian as our brother and 
comrade. The good of the four hundred millions of India must be our 
supreme objective. We shall seek to build anew our relations with Eng- 
land on a friendly and cooperative basis, forgetting the past which has 
lain so heavily upon us. 

I should like to express on this occasion my deep appreciation of the 
labours of the Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, ever since his arrival here at 
a critical juncture in our history. Inevitably, on every occasion of crisis 
and difficulty, we think of our great leader Mahatma Gandhi who has 
led us unfalteringly for over a generation through darkness and sorrow 
to the threshold of our freedom. To him we once again pay our homage. 
His blessing and wise counsel will happily be with us in the momentous 
years to come as always. With firm faith in our future I appeal to you 
to cooperate in the great task ahead and to march together to the haven 
of freedom for all in India. Jai Hind . 


4. To Liaquat Ali Khan 1 

New Delhi 
3 June 1947 

My dear Nawabzada, 

The new proposals that are being made by H.M.G. make a vital differ- 
ence to the situation in India. They will undoubtedly affect the Govern- 
ment also in the near future. All of us will be busy with these develop- 
ments during the next two months and after and it will hardly be possi- 
ble for any Member of Government to leave India during this period. 
But apart from the question of time, I think it will be improper for us 
during this period of vital change to go abroad for the discussion of the 

1. J.N. Collection. 


100 


THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


sterling balances question. 2 I suggest to you, therefore, that we should 
give up his idea for the present and inform H.M.G. that we are unable 
to send a delegation this month owing to important political developments 
in India. 

2. I am suggesting this to Rajagopalachari and Matthai also. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

2. It had been intended that Liaquat Ali Khan, with two other Members of the 
Indian Cabinet, should lead a delegation to London for negotiations on the 
question of India’s sterling balances. It was decided at Mountbatten’s meet- 
ing with Indian leaders ori 2 June 1947 that in view of the political develop- 
ments taking place, no Cabinet Member could leave India for the present. 
In the event, a party of Indian officials visited London in July to make interim 
arrangements. 


5. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
3 June 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

In view of the new proposals which H.M.G. is making, it seems to me 
that we should not send our sterling balances delegation to England this 
month. None of our important men can be spared for any length of time 
during this critical period. Apart from this it does not seem proper to 
me that when we are on the eve of big changes affecting the Government, 
we should undertake discussions about this important matter. I am sure 
you will agree with me. 

I have written to this effect to Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan and suggested 
that he should inform H.M.G. that owing to the political situation in 
India Members of Government are unable to visit England for the sterl- 
ing balances discussions. 2 

Yours sincerely. 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. J.N. Collection. 

2. See the preceding Item. 


101 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


6. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
4 June 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Thank you for your, letter of the 3rd June about the referendum in the 
N.W.F.P. I have informed Dr. Khan Sahib of what you have written, 2 

2. Dr. Khan Sahib’s immediate question was about the change in Gov- 
ernors in the N.W.F.P. This matter has been before you for some time 
now. There has been progressive deterioration in the relations between 
the Provincial Government and the Governor and it is hardly possible 
to! carry on the administration with this continuous conflict going on. You 
know how strongly the Provincial Ministry feel about this. 

3. Quite independently of that Ministry and for reasons connected with 
External Affairs Department, I have been suggesting a change of Gover- 
nors even before you assumed charge of the Viceroyalty. 3 My experience 
during the last nine months has convinced me of this and I feel that any 
delay in this is harmful. Indeed this applies to some other senior officers 
also serving in the Tribal Areas. I have had personal experience of them 
both during my visit to the Frontier and later, and I feel that they are 
totally unsuited for their present positions. 

4. For the present, however, I should like to draw your particular at- 
tention to the case of the Governor. You will find, if you have the op- 
portunity to do so, that there is very widespread feeling in this matter 
quite apart from any party or group. This exists in many circles which 
have come in contact with the present Governor of the N.W.F.P. during 
the past years in Delhi and elsewhere. The part that Sir Olaf Caroe play- 
ed as Deputy Commissioner of Peshawar in 1930 when there was large- 
scale shooting and killing of peaceful demonstrators 4 still evokes bitter 
memories. 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 122-123. 

2. Mountbatten had requested Nehru to tell Khan Sahib that he was asking the 
Commander-in-Chief to provide nine British officers of the Indian army to 
supervise the referendum in the N.W.F.P., and would arrange for the officers 
to proceed to Peshawar in a few days* time. 

3. See Selected Works (Second Series), Vol. 2, pp. 315-317. 

4. Olaf Caroe was Deputy Commissioner of Peshawar at the time of the 
Kissakhani Bazaar massacre of 1930. 


102 


THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


5. I would beg of you, therefore, to give urgent consideration to this 
matter. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


7. To Lord Mountbatten 1 


New Delhi 
7 June 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

You have informed us» that Parliamentary legislation is being undertaken 
for establishment of Dominion Status in India. 2 The nature of this legis- 
lation will, no doubt, depend upon decisions to be taken in some pro- 
vinces in the course of this month. 

2. We are proceeding upon basis* of Government of India Act being so 
amended as to give full Dominion powers and independence status to 
Government or Governments functioning as Dominions. In view of possi- 
bility of secession of certain parts of India, it is important how this matter 
is referred to in proposed legislation. In one case there will be a continu- 
ing entity from which certain parts have seceded, and in the other a 
number of seceding parts might be grouped together to form a Domi- 
nion. We are naturally interested in exact language of this proposed 
legislation and I hopo that nothing will be done without full consultation 
and reference to us. It would be unfortunate if any part of legislation 
was objected to subsequently. I trust, therefore, that full opportunities 
will be given to us to see drafts being prepared and to make our own 
suggestions in regard to them. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. Reported in Viceroy’s telegram to Secretary of State dated 9 June 1947. The 
Transfer of Power 1942-7 , Vol. 11, p. 220. 

2. Just before the announcement of the statement of 3 June 1947 on the radio, 

Mountbatten in his broadcast said, “...His Majety’s Government should 
transfer power now to one or two Governments of British India, each having 
Dominion status, as soon as the necessary arrangements can be made. This 
I hope will be within the next few months. ...His Majesty’s Government have 
accepted this proposal and are already having legislation prepared for intro- 
duction in Parliament this session ” 


103 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

8. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
10 June 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

I have just seen the text of the resolution of the All-India Muslim Lea- 
gue. 2 I am afraid this resolution is not at all satisfactory. It begins by 
saying that the Council “notes with satisfaction that the Cabinet Mission’s 
plan of May 16, 1946, will not be proceeded with and has been aban- 
doned”. It is true that this plan has been modified to a large extent. 
But, as a matter of fact, we are still functioning in many ways in accord- 
ance with that plan. Thus our Constituent Assembly has been meeting 
and will continue to meet under that plan. The Muslim League members 
from certain provinces are also now joining the Constituent Assembly. 
Thus it is incorrect to say that the plan has been abandoned, and indeed 
the Muslim League is itself going to conform to it to some extent. 

2. The second paragraph of the Council’s resolution is the most im- 
portant one. It states that the Council approves of the division of India 
into two parts, and it proceeds to say that the Council cannot agree to 
the partition of Bengal and the Punjab or give its consent to such parti- 
tion, though it has to consider H.M.G.’s plan as a whole. Thus the Coun- 
cil has definitely rejected one of the basic provisions in the new scheme. 

3. In the third paragraph it is said that the Council accepts the funda- 
mental principles of the plan as a compromise. It is not clear what they 
consider the fundamental principles to be. They may consider the funda- 
mental principle to be one of division of India and not of the division 
of Bengal and the Punjab. Whatever this may be, it is accepted as a 
compromise. Of course it is a compromise, but the point is whether it is 
accepted as a settlement or not. The reports of the speeches delivered at 


1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 242-243. 

2. In its resolution of 9 June 1947 the Council of the Muslim League noted 
“with satisfaction that the Cabinet Mission’s Plan of May 16th, 1946, will not 
be proceeded with and has been abandoned.” It stressed that the only solu- 
tion of India’s problem was to divide India into two parts. Though it could 
not agree to the partition of Bengal and the Punjab it had to consider the 
plan as a whole. It gave full authority to Jinnah to accept the fundamental 
principles of the plan as a compromises and take all steps and decisions which 
might be necessary in connection with and relating to the plan. 


104 


THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


the Council meeting lead to the conclusion that this was looked upon 
as a step only to be utilised for enforcement of further claims. 3 

4. The Council has given full authority to its President, Mr. Jinnah, 
to take all steps and decisions which may be necessary in connection with 
and relating to the plan. The position thus is this: The Council itself 
has not accepted the plan as a settlement but has given authority to the 
President to do so if he so chooses. This is leaving matters where they 
were. The least that can be done now is for Mr. Jinnah to accept the 
plan in its entirety as a settlement on behalf of the All-India Muslim 
League. Unless this is done clearly and in writing, there is every likeli- 
hood of difficulties arising in the near future. We have had vague resolu- 
tions of the Muslim League in the past 4 which were capable of more 
than one interpretation and many of our problems have been due to this 
(act. 


3. 


4. 


The Council of the Muslim League, meeting at New Delhi on 9 June 
1947, had felt that the 3 June plan fell far short of their demand. Jinnah 
said that it was for the Muslim nation to! decide which Constituent Assembly 
they wished to join. Abdul Rahim maintained that the division of Bengal 
would weaken Pakistan. If Calcutta were divided, the loss to Muslims would 
be great. Until Chittagong harbour could be developed, Pakistan would have 
no outlet for its exports. Z.H. Lari said that it was not a question of losing 
Assam alone, but also of big pieces of the Punjab and Bengal. He thought 
the time had come for two separate Muslim organizations in the country, 
one of which would work in the Hindu majority provinces. Pir Sahib of Zakri 
felt ashamed of those Muslims who had supported the Congress Ministry in 


the N.W.F.P. . . , , , 

The Muslim League at first accepted the Cabinet Missions proposals of 16 
May 1946, but later rejected them on account of differences with the Congress 
regarding the composition of the Viceroy’s Executive Council. The two re- 
solutions passed on 29 July 1946 rejected the “proposals” and deeded to 
resort to direct action for the achievement of Pakistan. On 31 January 19 7 
the Executive Council of the Muslim League called upon Britain to declare 
that the constitutional plan formulated by the Cabinet Mission had 
failed because the Congress had not accepted the Statement of May 16, 1946 
and recorded the opinion that the Constituent Assembly should be forthwith 
«LZ The Muslim League resented the 20 February ' ^We* 
as a result communal riots broke out in the Punjab and the North Wes 

Frontier. 


105 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


Very soon, as you know, the All-India Congress Committee will be 
meeting,* and the fact that the Council of the Muslim League has not 
clearly accepted the plan is sure to be pointed out and will affect peo- 
ple’s decisions. I trust that before that happens, Mr. Jinnah will express 
his full agreement with H.M.G*’s scheme as a settlement of our com- 
munal problems and that this wiJl be done in writing. Unless this is done 
the presumption will be that he does not wish to commit himself to the 
plan and does not wish to treat it as a settlement 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

5. An emergency meeting of the All India Congress Committee was held at 
New Delhi on 14 and 15 June 1947 to consider the British Government’s 
statement of 3 June 1947. 


9. On the British Statement of 3 June 1947 1 


Draft for the Congress Working F 
Committee, 13 June 1947 1 H 

1 

The A.I.C.C. has given careful con- 1 
sideration to the course of events c 
since its last meeting in January e 
last and, in particular, to the state- J 
mcnts made on behalf of the 3ri- t 
tish Government on February 20, t 
1947 and June 3, 1947. The a 

Committee approves and endorses 1 
the resolutions passed by the t 
Working Committee during this t 
period. 1 

The Committee welcomes the 
declarations of the British Govern- < 
ment to quit India and to transfer l 
power completely to the Indian i 

1. J.N. Collection. 

2. The Hindustan Times, 14 June 1947. 


Resolution passed by the Congress 
Working Committee at Delhi on 
13 June 1947 2 

The A.I.C.C. has given careful 
consideration to the course of 
events since its last meeting in 
January last and, in particular, to 
the statements made on behalf of 
the British Government on Febru- 
ary 20, 1947 and June 3, 1947. 
The Committee approves and en- 
dorses the resolutions passed by 
the Working Committee during 
this period. 

The Committee welcomes the 
decision of the British Govern- 
ment to transfer power completely 
to the Indian people by the next 


106 


THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


people at an early date. It is firm- 
ly of opinion that India’s problems 
can only be solved by Indians 
themselves when they are free to 
do so without the intervention of 
an external authority. 

The Congress accepted in its 
entirety the British Cabinet Mis- 
sion’s Statement of 16th May 
1946 as well as the subsequent 
interpretation thereof dated 6th 
December, 1946, and has been 
acting in accordance with it in the 
Constituent Assembly which was 
constituted in terms of the Cabinet 
Mission’s plan. The Assembly has 
been functioning for over six 
months and has not only declared 
its objectives to be the establish- 
ment of an independent sovereign 
republic of India and a just social 
and economic order, but has also 
made considerable progress in 
framing the Constitution for the 
free Indian Union on the basis of 
fundamental rights guaranteeing 
freedom and equality of oppor- 
tunity to all Indians. To that plan 
the Congress was and is prepared 
to adhere. 

In view, however, of the refusal 
of the Muslim League to accept 
that plan and to participate in the 
Constituent Assembly, and fur- 
ther in view of the declared policy 
of the Congress that “it cannot 
think in terms of compelling the 
people in any territorial' unit to re- 
main in an Indian Union against 
their declared and established 
will” the A.I.C.C. is willing to ac- 


August. 


The Congress accepted the Bri- 
tish Cabinet Mission’s Statement 
of May 16, 1946, as well as the 
subsequent interpretation thereof 
dated December 6, 1946, and has 
been acting in accordance with it 
in the Constituent Assembly which 
was constituted in terms of the 
Cabinet Mission’s plan. 

That Assembly has been func- 
tioning for over six months and 
has not only declared its objec- 
tives to be the establishment of an 
Independent Sovereign Republic 
of India and a just social and eco- 
nomic order, but has also made 
considerable progress in framing 
the Constitution for the free In- 
dian Union on the basis of funda- 
mental rights, guaranteeing free- 
dom and equality of opportunity 
to all Indians. 

In view, however, of the refusal 
of the Muslim League to accept 
the plan of May 16 and to parti- 
cipate in the Constituent Assem- 
bly, and further in view of the 
policy of the Congress that it 
cannot think in terms of compel- 
ling the people in any territorial 
unit to remain in an Indian Union 
against their declared and esta- 
blished will, the A.I.C.C. accepts 


107 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


cept as a variation of that plan the 
proposals now made on behalf of 
the British Government, which 
have laid down a procedure for 
ascertaining the will of the peo- 
ple concerned. But the acceptance 
can only be as a settlement of the 
various claims put forward by the 
Muslim League and is thus condi- 
tioned by the full and unequivocal 
acceptance of the proposals by or 
on behalf of the Muslim League. 

The Congress has consistently 
upheld that the unity of India 
must be maintained. Ever since its 
inception, more than sixty years 
ago, the National Congress has 
laboured for the realization of a 
free and united India, and millions 
of our people have suffered in this 
great cause. Not only the labours 
and sacrifices of the past two gen- 
erations but the long course of 
India’s history and tradition bear 
witness to this essential unity. Geo- 
graphy and the mountains and the 
seas fashioned India as she is and 
no human agency can change that 
shape or come in the way of her 
final destiny. Economic circumst- 
ances and the insistent demands of 
international affairs make the unity 
of India still more necessary. The 
picture of India we have learnt 
to cherish will remain untarnished 
in our minds and hearts. In that 
picture the unity of India was not 
based on compulsion but friend- 
ship and cooperation. The A.I.C.C. 
earnestly trusts that when pre- 
sent passions have subsided India’s 


the proposals embodied in the an- 
nouncement of June 3 which have 
laid down a procedure for ascer- 
taining the will of the people con- 
cerned. 


The Congress has consistently 
upheld that the unity of India must 
be maintained. Ever since its in- 
ception, more than sixty years ago, 
the National Congress has labour- 
ed for the realization of a free 
and united India, and millions of 
our people have suffered in this 
great cause. Not only the labours 
and sacrifices of the past two gen- 
erations but the long course of 
India’s history and tradition bear 
witness to this essential unity. Geo- 
graphy and the mountains and the 
seas fashioned India as she is and 
no human agency can change that 
shape or come in the way of her 
final destiny. Economic circumst- 
ances and the insistent demands of 
international affairs make the 
unity of India still more necessary. 


The picture of India we have 
learnt to cherish will remain in our 
minds and hearts. The A.I.C.C. 
earnestly trusts that when present 


108 


THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


problems will be viewed in their 
proper perspective and the false 
doctrine of two or more nations in 
India, leading to brother raising 
his hand against brother, will be 
discredited and discarded by all. 

The British Government’s pro- 
posals of June 3, 1947 may lead 
to the secession of some parts of 
the country from India. However 
much this may be regretted, the 
A-I C.C. accepts this possibility in 
the circumstances now prevailing 
as a settlement leading to a cessa- 
tion of the brutality and violence 
that have disfigured and defaced 
some parts of the country, result- 
ing in the establishment in the near 
future of a strong and free India. 
For India, though disfigured, will 
march ahead and realise her des- 
tiny. 

Though freedom is at hand, the 
times are difficult, and the situa- 
tion in India, political and econo- 
mic as well as communal, de- 
mands vigilance and a united front 
of all those who care for the inde- 
pendence of India. It demands 
more than even a peaceful ap- 
proach to all our problems, for 
these problems cannot be solved 
by methods of violence. There can 
be no submission to these methods. 

At this time of crisis and change, 
when unpatriotic and anti-social 
forces are trying to injure the cause 
of India and her people, the 
A.I.C.C. appeals to and demands 
of every Congressman and the 
people generally, to forget their 


passions have subsided, India’s 
problems will be viewed in their 
proper perspective and the false 
doctrine of two nations in India 
will be discredited and discarded 
by all. 

The proposals of June 3 are like- 
ly to lead to the secession of some 
parts of the country from India. 
However much this may be re- 
gretted, the A.I.C.C. accepts this 
possibility, in the circumstances 
now prevailing. 


Though freedom is at hand, the 
times are difficult, and the situa- 
tion in India demands vigilance 
and a united front of all those who 
care for the independence of 
India. 


At this time of crisis and 
change, when unpatriotic and anti- 
social forces are trying to injure 
the cause of India and her people, 
the A.I.C.C. appeals to and de- 
mands of every Congressman and 
the people generally, to forget 


109 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


petty differences and disputes and 
to stand by, vigilant, disciplined 
and prepared to serve the cause of 
India’s freedom and defend it with 
all their strength from all who may 
seek to do it injury. 


their petty differences and disputes 
and to stand by, vigilant, discip- 
lined and prepared to serve the 
cause of India’s freedom and de- 
fend it with all their strength from 
all who may seek to do it injury. 


10. The Unavoidability of Partition 1 


Friends and Comrades, Jai Hind! 

India’s heart has been broken but her essential unity has not been 
destroyed. How will, you repair the broken heart? It can be only on the 
basis of a programme. 

The horrible riots in the Punjab, Bengal and elsewhere were no isolat- 
ed riots. They were planned attacks. It seemed the administration had 
broken down and there was no authority left in the country to enforce 
order. How is it that the British officers who coped with the civil disobe- 
dience movements in the past were unable to cope with the present dis- 
turbances? Where there are Congress Ministries, disturbances were 
brought under control, but where the British exercised authority, there 
was chaos. In the Punjab where there was cent per cent British rule 
despite the efforts of certain senior officers, murder and arson continued. 
The trouble was prevalent the most where there were British officers in 
charge, and divisions under the control of either Hindu or Muslim 
officers were comparatively quiet . 2 The Interim Government was able to 
do nothing to protect the people. 

Now it would be a futile controversy to go into the merits of Dominion 
Status versus independence. The| most urgent task at present is to arrest 
the swift drift towards anarchy and chaos. Disruptive forces are at work 
and the most important disruptive force is that of the Muslim League. 

1. Speech at the A.I.C.C. meeting in New Delhi on 15 June 1947 on the Working 
Committee resolution accepting the 3 June statement. From National Herald. 
16 June 1947. 

2. In Madras, Bombay, U.P., Bihar, Orissa, Assam, Central Provinces and 
N.W.F.P. there were Congress Ministries whereas Bengal and Sind were 
under Muslim League Ministries. In the Punjab, when Premier Khizr Hayat 
Khan Tiwana resigned on 2 March 1947, Khan Iftikar Hussain Khan of 
Mamdot became the Premier. But both the Hindus and the Sikhs refused to 
cooperate and the Governor, E.M. Jenkins, was obliged on 5 March 1947 to 
take over the administration under section 93. 


110 


THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


Our first task should be the establishment of a strong Central Govern- 
ment to rule the country firmly and to assure the individual’s liberty and 
life. All other questions are of secondary importance. 

There is no question of any surrender to the Muslim League and 
what myself and my colleagues have agreed to is that the issue of parti- 
tion should be referred to the people for a verdict. There is nothing 
novel in the plan for partition. The House will remember Rajaji’s formula 3 
on the basis of which Mahatma Gandhi carried on 1 negotiations with Mr. 
Jinnah. At that time myself and my colleagues were in the Ahmednagar 
Fort. We discussed the question in prison. While we disagreed with the 
approach to the whole question, there was no disagreement on the funda- 
mentals of the formula. 4 It must be realised that it is not possible to 
coerce even with swords unwilling parts to remain under the Indian 
domain. If they are forced to stay in the Union no progress and plan- 
ning will be possible. We must take the warning from China. 5 Con- 
tinued internal strife and turmoil will bring progress of a nation to a 
standstill. In arriving at a decision we must look at the international 
context as' well. The picture of the world today is one of destruction and 
impoverishment which by itself may prevent an immediate war but one 
can never say what will happen in the future. 

The Congress cannot afford to act in an irresponsible manner by pas- 
sing high-sounding resolutions. A responsible body must not think in terms 
of today only, but there is a tomorrow and a day after that. It will be ridi- 
culous to suggest that the British would do everything before they quit. 
The June 3 statement could not have come about had there been no agree- 
ment. It is not an imposed award. Circumstances were such that the Cong- 
ress agreed to it. It is not like one of those old decisions of the British 
Government which we could accept or reject. The acceptance for which I 
am wholly responsible does not mean that I agree to every word in the 
statement but I agree with the fundamental principles therein. 

The riots in Rawalpindi, Multan, Amritsar, Calcutta, Noakhali, Bihar 
and elsewhere present the situation in a different light. To suggest that 
the Congress Working Committee took fright and therefore “surrendered” 

2. On 23 April 1942 Rajagopalachari secured the passage of two resolutions by 
the Congress members of the Madras Legislature recommending to the A.I.C.C. 
that Congressmen should acknowledge the Muslim League’s claim for separa- 
tion and that negotiations be immediately started with the League for the 
“purpose of arriving at an agreement and securing the installation of a na- 
tional Government to meet the present emergency.” 

4. See Selected Works , Vol. 13, p. 580. 

5. In China, which was much weakened at the close of the .Second World War, 
a civl war raged through 1946 between the Nationalists and the Communists. 


Ill 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


is wrong. But it is correct to say that they are very much disturbed at the 
prevailing madness. Homesteads burnt, women and children murdered; 
and why are all these tragic and brutal things happening? We could have 
checked them by resorting to the sword and the lathi but would that solve 
the problem? Some people from the Punjab said that the Congress had 
let them down. What did they want me to do? Should I send an army? 
I am sad and bitter and India’s heart is broken. The victims in Rawal- 
pindi said that they were being killed in order that the League might rule. 
The wound must be healed. With whatever we are able to salvage, we 
must plan out a programme on the basis of partition. 

It is sufficient for the House to compare what happened in Noakhali 
and Calcutta and again what happened in Bihar. By supreme efforts the 
Congress was able to control the situation in Bihar but they could do 
nothing in the Punjab. Why did such things happen in the Punjab and 
why was the Khizr Ministry broken and how was it no one seemed to 
be capable of controlling the Punjab disturbances? The answer is patent. 
The Congress Working Committee passed a resolution in favour of the 
partition of the Punjab into two administrative provinces . 0 Partition is 
better than murder of innocent citizens. After the resolution was passed, 
the Committee received numerous complaints from. Bengal that Bengal 
also should be divided. The underlying principle in the case of the Punjab 
and Bengal is one and the same. 

It is wrong to suggest that I and two others decided the fate of mil- 
lions. The Bengal Provincial Congress Committee and other responsible 
organisations in the province strongly supported the partition proposal . 6 7 8 

The next question that arose was, having divided the Punjab and 
Bengal, has the Congress abandoned the Sikhs and the Hindus? An 
answer should be found. By high-sounding resolutions the Congress will 
not be able to help them. Even when the Punjab was one they were not 
able to help the people. An answer to t his problem will no doubt be 
found. However, there is no reason why the minorities there should be 
tyrannised and persecuted. There may be individual cases of rioting but 
there is not much room in future for organised attacks on the minorities. 
I have nothing much to say about Sind and, so far as Sylhct is concerned, 
there is to be a referendum and I cannot forecast the result. * I am much 

6. 8 March 1947. 

7. The Bengal Provincial Congress Committee passed a resolution on 4 April 
1947 demanding the partition of Bengal. 

8. The referendum in the Syhet district of Assam, held on 6 and 7 July, resulted 
in a majority of 55,578 in favour of joining the East Bengal territory of 
Pakistan, 239,619 votes being cast for union with Pakistan and 184,041 for 
remaining in India. 


112 


THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


worried about the N.W.F.P. If Bengal and Punjab went out, the Frontier 
would be isolated. The question is now the subject of consultation be- 
tween the Committee and the Frontier leaders. 

Governmental authority in the country has almost collapsed. The 
British are no longer interested because they arc leaving. This probably 
explains why some officers asked the victims who went to them for help 
to come to me or Sardar Patel for help. They are not desirous of shoul- 
dering any further responsibility and many have become callous. 

Any controversy over the question of Dominion Status versus indepen- 
dence is meaningless. What the Congress demanded was that the Gov- 
ernment should function as a Dominion Government and conventions 
must be established. The acceptance of Dominion Status was without 
prejudice to the republic resolution adopted by the Constituent Assemb- 
ly.® But the composition of the present Government is such that no 
agreement can work and no convention can be established and the 
Viceroy, therefore, suggested the June 3 statement and the Congress 
accepted it. 

All talk of Pakistan and Hindustan is due to a misunderstanding. Both 
from practical and legal points of view India as an entity continues to 
exist except that certain provinces and parts of certain provinces now 
seek to secede. The seceding areas are free to have any relations they 
like with foreign Powers. The Government of India is intact and there 
should be no further confusion of Hindustan and Pakistan and people 
should not allow such ideas to grow. 

The present, perhaps, is the most difficult period full of trials and 
tribulations. Today we have to shoulder responsibility. The first thing 
we have to do is to establish the independence of India firmly and set 
up a strong Central Government. Having established a strong and stable 
government, all other programmes will not create much difficulty. The 
Congress has a heavy responsibility. You must bend all your energies to 
strengthen the Congress organisation. We have to face dangers, both 
external and internal, and if we are not strong we will go down. 

As for the Indian States, I will have something to say on the subject 
when the next resolution comes up for discussion. However, I am con- 
fident that the Congress will be able to deal with and solve the problem 
of the States. And if we proceed on the right lines the seceding provinces 
will also rejoin the Union. 

I would ask the A.I.C.C. not to vote for the resolution out of any 
sympathy for the Working Committee but they must do so out of con- 
viction. 

9. See Selected Works (Second Series), Vol. 1, pp. 240-251. 

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SELECTED WORKS OF JAWA1IARLAL NEHRJJ 


II. Telegram to Secretary of State 1 


New Delhi 
17 June 1947 

Many thanks for your telegram No. 7659 of 13th June. 2 I am grateful 
for your helpful reply and hope to nominate someone soon for detailed 
discussion of plan about which Krishna Menon spoke to you last month. 
I should also like to thank you for receiving Menon. Best wishes. 

1. Ministry of External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations. File No. l-Eur/47, 
p. 77/Corr., National Archives of India. 

2. The Secretary of State had expressed hi9 willingness to help in the “proposed 
diplomatic establishment in London for representation with various European 
countries.” 


12. To G.T. Vazirani 1 

19.6.47 

My dear Mr. Vazirani, 

I received your letter some time back but I am sorry for the delay in 
replying to it. 

I am fully conscious of the difficulties we have to face in the present 
circumstances, more particularly those arising out of the announcement 
of June 3. 2 The whole question of Congress in relation to the seceding 
parts will have to be reviewed but I hope the Indian National Congress 
would continue to function even in those areas though the nature of 
work there will vary according to the conditions which the new state 
may bring about. We all sympathise with the difficulties of the minorities 
in such areas but I hope they will be met with the same determination 


1. A.I.C.C. File No. P-15(KW-1 j/1946-48, p. 107, N.M.M.L. 

G.T. Vazirani was one of the Secretaries of the Sind Provincial Congress 
Committee. 

2. In his letter to Acharya Jugal Kishore of 6 June 1947, G.T. Vazirani had 
said that with the announcement of June 3 fear of large-scale disorder had 
definitely receded but a very difficult and awkward situation was created for 
the local Congress in Sind. 


114 


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with which the Congress has faced similar difficulties in the past. Mr. 
Jairarndas Doulatram is fully alive to these difficulties and he is in 
constant touch with the Working Committee. I am sure the advice 
which he gives you in these matters will help you to tide over the difficul- 
ties. 

I hope you are all right. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


13. ToLordlsmay 1 

New Delhi 
22 June 1947 

Dear Lord Ismay, 

I received your letter of the 21st June last night on my return from 
Hardwar. Thank you for sending me the draft memorandum on the con- 
stitutional functions of the proposed States Department of the Central 
Government. 

2. There is only one thing I would like to suggest. The memorandum 
deals with the whole complex of administrative and economic arrange- 
ments. I do not know if this includes certain political arrangements also 
and relations. You will remember that in the Cabinet Mission’s memo- 
randum of 12th May 1946 it was stated that “the void will have to be 
filled either by the States entering into a federal relationship with the 
Successor Government or Governments in British India or, failing this, 
(entering into particular political arrangements with it or them.” 

3. Perhaps this matter can be brought out in the “Standstill” agree- 
ment. 

4. I am sorry for the slight delay in sending you our suggestions for 
the “Standstill” agreement. 2 I wanted to consult some lawyers and con- 
stitutional experts iri regard to this. I hope to send it to you before long. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, p. 559. 

2. See post, section 6, item 24. 


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SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


14. To Lord Mountbatten 1 


New Delhi 
26th June 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

It has been announced in the press and on the radio that legislation is 
going toi be introduced in Parliament in regard to amending the Govern- 
ment of India Act on or about July 7th. 2 You were good enough to 
inform us that before any legislation was so introduced, we would have 
an opportunity of examining it. It would be unfortunate if the draft was 
finally prepared and there was something in it to which we took strong 
exception. Although the main lines have been agreed upon, it is a matter 
of vital importance what the approach should be. 

The question is not one of repealing the Government of India Act 
but of amending it. Any repeal would create grave difficulties and would 
leave us without any kind of a constitution. In fact, you mentioned in 
your broadcast that one of the reasons for giving Dominion Status was 
to enable India to have a constitution until the Constituent Assembly 
made a new constitution. 3 

The amending Act would confer Dominion Status on India and delimit 
the territory of India by the exclusion of the seceding areas. It would 
constitute the Constituent Assembly into a sovereign legislature with 
power necessarily to amend the Constitution Act as it thought fit. It 
would thus bring this Act into line with the Statute of Westminster. 4 The 
Act would apply to all the territories of India, with the exception of 
those that have seceded, which territories would be dealt with separately 
and constituted into a Dominion. 


1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 658-659. 

2. Newspapers of 25 June 1947 reported that preparations were being hastened 
in Whitehall to pass the Bill in order to meet the date of 15 August 1947 
which Mountbatten himself had suggested. 

3. In his broadcast of 3 June Mountbatten stated: . .Tf we waited until a con- 

stitutional set-up for all-India was agreed, wc should have to wait a long 
time. ..The solution to this dilemma, which I put forward, is that His Majesty’s 
Government should transfer power now to one or two Governments. . .each 
having Dominion Status...” 

4. The decisions of the Imperial Conference of 1926 were given statutory force 
by Britain’ by the Statute of Westminster on 11 December 1931. The Crown 
renounced its right to legislate for the dominions except at their request and 
with their consent; but a dominion could still not pass laws repugnant to ex- 
isting British laws applying to that dominion. 


116 


THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


There would thus be two Acts. If there is only one Act dealing with 
these processes in India and in Pakistan then there will be a great deal 
of confusion and the status of India would be affected. We are naturally 
interested in the continuing entity that is India. As regards Pakistan, 
though we may be interested, it is for the representatives of Pakistan to 
say what they want and how they want it. Mixing up the two will lead 
to obvious difficulties. Parliamentary legislation will embody our con- 
stitution till such time as our Constituent Assembly draws up another 
constitution. If that parliamentary legislation deals with Pakistan also it 
will mean that our constitution is contained in a statute which also con- 
tains the constitution of another country. That would not only be in- 
congruous but legally and constitutionally inadvisable. 

The two processes of creating a Dominion of India and a Pakistan 
Dominion are not simultaneous, even though they might follow each 
other in quick succession. The Pakistan Dominion follows the secession 
of certain areas. Therefore, the Act for creating the Pakistan Dominion 
has to be a new and separate Act following the constitution of India as 
a Dominion. 

There may also be other practical difficulties in the way of dealing 
with India and Pakistan together in the same legislation. India is not 
only a continuing entity but also a running organisation. Pakistan as a 
state is starting from scratch. Any attempt to tie them up legally will 
mean putting two things together which are dissimilar and which are 
functioning differently. That would not be good either for India or for 
Pakistan. The legislation, therefore, has to deal with each separately and 
on merits. 

These are some points that I should like to place before you again, as 
I am anxious that parliamentary draftsmen should not ignore them at 
this stage. If a single Bill is drafted for parliamentary legislation dealing 
with all these processes, it will raise all manner of complications and 
difficulties and it would be unfortunate if we have to raise objections at 
that stage. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


117 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


IS. To Lord Mountbatten 1 


New Delhi 
28 June 1947 


Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

In your letter of the 27th June 2 you have said that you hope to have 
authority to show me the draft legislation after the next week-end. I 
should like to point out that this legislation is of the utmost consequence 
to India and we shall necessarily have to consider it very carefully and 
to take constitutional and legal advice on it. We are eager to get the Bill 
through Parliament as early as possible. But unless it is thoroughly vetted, 
the hurry may lead to unfortunate results. 

2. I think you told me that parliamentary legislation is kept secret till 
it is actually placed before Parliament. How far this rule is applied to 
legislation affecting Dominions, [ do not know. My own recollection is 
that in the case of the Union of South Africa Act, 3 the Bill was drawn 
up completely in South Africa and then sent to Parliament for formal 
adoption. Someone in Parliament pointed out a small grammatical error. 
It was stated by the then Prime Minister that he would not correct that 
error as he had given an assurance to accept in its entirety what the 
South African leaders had produced. This does not indicate that parlia- 
mentary secrecy was functioning when the Bill was being drafted in 
South Africa. Indeed in legislation of this type where the future of a 
country is concerned, it' seems to me an entirely wrong approach to pro- 
ceed secretively and without taking a sufficient number of people into 
one’s confidence. Legislation i$ always a complicated affair requiring the 
utmost scrutiny not only of one person but of many minds. I trust that 
this full opportunity will be given to us before the Bill is introduced in 
Parliament. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, p. 728. 

2. Mountbatten had hoped to show the draft Bill which he thought would satisfy 
Nehru as fulfilling the essential requirements. 

3. The Union of South Africa Act of 1910 passed by the British Government 
brought into existence the Union of South Africa on 31 May 1910. 


118 


THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


16. To Lord Mountbatten 1 


New Delhi 
29 June 1947 


Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Thank you for your two letters of today’s date. 2 I shall come as suggest- 
ed on Tuesday the 1st July at 10 a.m. 

2. I am not competent to say anything about the procedure in regard 
to draft Bills for Parliament. But we are naturally deeply concerned with 
any legislation which is going to affect the future of India vitally. Indeed 
this Bill is likely to be the basis for the interim constitution of India. It 
will not only define the relations of India to the United Kingdom but 
also to Pakistan. It may deal with the position of the States in India. 
All these are highly intricate and sometimes controversial matters and 
require the most careful consideration. 

3. So far as I know, any Bill establishing Dominion Status has not only 
originated in the Dominion in question but has also received full consi- 
deration there before it became a Bill for Parliament. The procedure 
being adopted here is entirely different and the whole drafting of the 
Bill takes place without any reference to us and we are only given a 
chance to see the draft and perhaps suggest some amendments at the last 
stage. I am afraid this will prove very unsatisfactory. Sir B.N. Rau’s pre- 
sence will, no doubt, prove helpful and we would welcome it. But we 
would like to consult a number of other eminent lawyers, experts and 
constitutionalists such as Sir Alladi Krishnaswami Aiyer, 3 Sir N. Gopa- 
laswami Ayyangar, Mr. K.M. Munshi and possibly others who may be 
available here. In any complicated piece of legislation it is desirable that 
several minds view it so that no important matter is overlooked. 

4. I should particularly like Gandhiji to see the draft Bill and to advise 
us in regard to it. His advice is especially valuable in such matters as he 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 746-747. 

2. In his letter of 29 June 1947, Mountbatten invited Nehru and Vallabhbhai 
Patel on 1 July 1947 to study the draft of the Indian Independence Bill. The 
British! Government, he said, were insistent that the contents of the Bill were 
to remain secret in conformity with usual parliamentary practice. He pro- 
posed that representatives of the Congress and the Muslim League sit in 
separate rooms to study the draft. 

3. (1883-1953); Advocate-General, Madras, 1929-44; member of the Constituent 
Assembly and one of the chief drafters of the Constitution. 


119 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

has considerable experience of this kind of thing and is interested in it 
For him to see it after it has been finalised and then to point out some 
deficiencies would be unfortunate. 

5. It is your desire, as it is ours, to have a Bill which carries with it 

the willing assent of all parties concerned. If this is not obtained, then 

the object of the Bill is somewhat nullified. 

6. I would, therefore, earnestly request you to consider this matter 

afresh and, if necessary, consult H.M.G. in regard to it so that we may 

have the fullest opportunities of consulting our colleagues and our advisers. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


17. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
30 June 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Thank you for your letter of the 30th June. 2 I am grateful to you for 
your agreeing to some additional experts and lawyers accompanying us 
tomorrow morning. I shall convey your invitation to them. 

2. It was not my intention to have a larger party at the Viceroy’s House 
tomorrow morning. What I was thinking of was to have the time and 
opportunity to consult my colleagues as well as these experts. You will 
appreciate that it is very awkward for us to ignore our colleagues in the 
Cabinet in a matter of this kind. I have mentioned to them that Sardar 
Patel and I had been invited by you to see the draft parliamentary legis- 
lation. They felt hurt at being kept out of this business and I feel that 
they were completely right. As Members of the Cabinet it concerns them 
much more than others and we have to consult them at every stage. I 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 803-804. 

2. In his letter of 30 June 1947 Mountbatten agreed to Nehru’s proposal of 
additional invitees for the meeting on 1 July but emphasised that there should 
be no leakage of the contents of the Bill prior to its publication in London. 


120 


THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


feci, therefore, that it is very necessary for us to take them into our con- 
fidence in regard to this Bill. I realise fully the importance of secrecy in 
this matter and that there should be no leakage of the contents of the 
Bill. Wd shall make every effort to prevent a leakage. I suggest that you 
should allow us to have a copy of the Bill so that we may show it to our 
colleagues in the Cabinet. That copy will bei kept by me and it will not 
go out of my possession. Without the draft Bill it is difficult to get any 
proper idea of it or to consider it carefully. 

3. I do not know if Mr. Gandhi will be able to come tomorrow at 10 
in the morning as that is a very inconvenient time for him. 3 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

3. Mahatma Gandhi was also present at the first meeting to consider the draft 
of the Indian Independence Bill. 


18. Mountbatten’s Record of Talks with Nehru and Patel 1 * 


Most grateful for your telegram No. 77. Situation here incredibly ex- 
plosive and more dangerous than any I have seen to date. Have been 
using Krishna Menon as contact with Nehru and V.P. Menort as contact 
with Patel, and had a meeting with them today at which both agreed 
that all Congress leaders are firmly united in their complete refusal to be 
dictated to by Jinnah any longer. Disastrous consequences of withdrawal 
of Muslim League on chances of getting Bill passed unopposed through 
Parliament this session were fully explained. Both Nehru and Patel said 
they would face any consequences rather than yield once more to Jinnah 
which they consider would be quite fatal to their standing with their own 
followers. 

2. They point out that in that case they will in any event hold all the 
portfolios for India and that this will suit them quite well. 

1. 2 July 1947. Mountbatten’s telegram to Attlee, 2 July 1947. The Transfer of 

Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, P- 826. 


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SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


19. Comments of Congress on the Draft Independence Bill 1 


We have considered the Draft Bill 2 and have the following comments to 
offer: — 

Form of Bill — (a) We understand that in the opinion of H.M.G. the 
form of the present Bill makes it sufficiently clear that the new Dominion 
of India will continue the international personality of the existing India. 
But the point is so vital that all avoidable doubt should be removed. 

( b ) For international purposes, the whole of India, including British 
India and the Indian States, is at present a single State. Under the Bill, 
two independent Dominions arc set up in British India and the Indian 
States arc detached from both. This simultaneous fragmentation may 
create doubts as to whether even the Dominion of India is anything more 
than one of the new fragments and whether as such it can continue to 
represent the old entity, since even the two Dominions are described in 
the Bill as “new Dominions”. To avoid all possible doubt in this respect, 
and to preserve the continuity of the parent State for other essential pur- 
poses, there should be two separate Bills: the first, creating the Dominion 
of India to consist of the whole of the existing India excluding the Pakis- 
tan provinces and such of the contiguous Indian States as may accede 
to Pakistan; and the second, creating the Dominion of Pakistan to con- 
sist of the excluded territories. 

(c) If, owing to the time factor, it is not possible to have two Bills 
at once, we would suggest that the single Act now being passed should 
be divided as soon as possible into two separate Acts, in much the same 
way as the Government of Burma Act was separated from the Government 
of India Act in December 1935, although the two were originally pass- 
ed as a single measure in August 193 5. 3 

( d ) We would irtf any case suggest the insertion of a provision in the 
Bill explicitly stating that the rights and obligations of India under any 

1. 3 July 1947. From a facsimile printed in The Transfer of Power in India by 
V.P. Menon (Delhi, 1957), between pp. 532-533. The facsimile contains correc- 
tions in Nehru’s hand which have been indicated in italics; also printed in 
The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 854-858. 

2. Printed in The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 780-794. 

3. The Government of India Act, 1935, promised complete separation of Burma 
from India on l April 1937. The Government of Burma Act, 2 August 1935, 
provided for a cabinet led by a Prime Minister and responsible to a bicameral 

legislature. 


122 


THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


treaty or agreement with foreign States shall as from the appointed day 
become the rights and obligations of the Dominion of India, saving only 
those obligations which by their nature, can only be performed in terri- 
tories outside the Dominion. Such a provision will, incidentally, contain 
the assurance which H.M.G. apparently desire in this behalf. 1 

2. We now proceed to the details of the Bill in its present form. 

Preamble — For the reasons mentioned above, the preamble should 
read — 

A Bill to make provision for the establishment of the Dominion of 
India and the creation of a separate Dominion of Pakistan and for 
other matters consequential etc., etc., 

Clause 1(1) — For the same reasons, this sub-clause should provide 
that as from August 15, 1947, India shall be a Dominion and Pakistan 
a separate Dominion. 

Clause 2(1) — India should be defined to be the whole of India as under 
the Act of 1935 excluding Pakistan; Pakistan should be defined to be 
the British Indian areas mentioned in the Bill plus such of the contiguous 
Indian States as may accede thereto. 

Clause 2(3)— It should be made clear that “any area" in this sub- 
clause includes acceding Indian States. There is no specific provision in 
the Bill in its present form for the accession of Indian States. 

Clause 3(2) (a) — We sec no reason why merely because of the trans- 
fer of Sylhet to East Bengal, the present province of Assam should 
cease to exist. 4 5 This would merely furnish an additional argument to 
those who might wish to contend that the State now recognised as India 
ceases to exist with the separation of Pakistan. Sylhet is only one district 


4. The British Government wanted an assurance to the effect that the Dominion 
Governments when set up would consider themselves as successors to all the 
rights and obligations in respect of the treaties concluded in the name of 

His Majesty’s Government. . 

5. According to the Draft Bill if. as a result of the referendum in the district 
of Sylhet, it was decided that that district would form part of the new province 
of East Bengal, then the province of Assam as constituted under the Govern- 
ment of India Act. 1935, would cease to exist. 


123 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


out of about a dozen in Assam, although it has a large population. Bom- 
bay did) not cease to exist) as Bombay owing to the separation of Sind. 

Clause 6(1 ) — Now that we have suggested a new definition of India 
so as to make it consist of existing India excluding Pakistan, a proviso 
wifi have to be inserted under this sub-clause 0 on the following lines: — 
provided that save as otherwise provided by or under this Act, the 
Legislature of the Dominion shall exercise jurisdiction only over the 
Governors’ provinces and Chief Commissioners’ provinces or parts 
thereof included in India. 

Clause 6(2 ) — The words “any existing or future Act of Parliament” 
may not cover the Act that is being now passed. 6 7 8 The words should be 
“this Act or any existing or future Act of Parliament.” 

Clause 6(4 ) s — Owing to the ambiguity of the words “as part of the 
law of the Dominion”, a written assurance was given to the Dominion 
delegates at the Imperial Conference of 1930 in connection with a similar 
phrase then proposed to be inserted in the Statute of Westminster that it 
was not Parliament’s intention, under the provision in question, to enact 
any law in relation to the Dominions which, if enacted in relation to a 
foreign State, would be inconsistent with international comity. The same 
object can be better achieved by substituting for the words “unless it is 
declared in the Act that the Dominion has requested and consented to 
the passing thereof”, which occur in the Bill, the words “unless extended 
thereto by an Act of the Legislature of the Dominion” which occur in 
section 2 of the Status of the Union Act, 1934, in South Africa. 

Clause 7(1) (b ) — The complete wiping out of all treaties and agree- 
ments in force at the date of passing of the Act will create administrative 


6. In the Draft Bill this sub-clause read: “The Legislature of each of the new 
Dominions shall have full power to make laws for that Dominion, including 
laws having extra-territorial operation.” 

7. This clause read: “No law and no provision of any law made by the Legisla- 
ture of either of the new Dominions shall be void or inoperative on the 
ground that it is repugnant to the law of England, or to the provisions of any 
existing or future Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom.” 

8. In the Draft Bill this sub-clause read: “No Act of Parliament of the United 
Kingdom passed on or after the appointed day shall extend, or be deemed 
to extend, to either of the new Dominions as part of the law of that Dominion 
unless it is expressly declared in that Act that the Dominion has requested and 
consented to the passing thereof.” 


124 


THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


chaos of the gravest kind. 9 Railway agreements, customs agreements, har- 
bour agreements, agreements ceding criminal and civil jurisdiction, ex- 
tradition agreements, agreements connected with the administration of 
Posts and Telegraphs, Irrigation agreements, agreements for the protec- 
tion of Indian States from external aggression, and more generally, agree- 
ments relating to defence and external affairs and a host of other agree- 
ments will all lapse and even the existence of States like Benares and 
Mysore which rest on Instruments of Transfer from the Crown might be 
deprived of all legal basis. Even the Cabinet Mission’s memorandum of 
May 12, 1946, contemplated in paragraph 4 that pending the conclusion 
of new agreements, existing arrangements in all matters of common con- 
cern should continue. Paragraph 5 of the same memorandum, after refer- 
ring to the lapse of paramountcy and the consequent cessation of all 
rights and obligations flowing therefrom, goes on to state that the void 
so created must be filled by the States entering either into a federal rela- 
tionship or into new political arrangements with the successor government. 
To negotiate new agreements — some of them multipartite — with a large 
number of Indian States will be a long and laborious task. Therefore, both 
to save time and trouble, instead of individual standstill agreements, a 
standstill proviso of general application to all the States should be inserted 
in the Bill itself. 

It may be pointed out that under the clause as drafted, treaties and 
agreements in force at the date of the passing of the Act lapse as from 
“the appointed day”. This seems to imply that agreements which may be 
negotiated between the passing of the Act and the appointed day do not 
lapse. It may be that the intention of the provision is that standstill agree- 
ments should be negotiated during this intervening period, while the para- 
mountcy of the Crown continues. This is borne out by the statement in the 
memorandum of May 12, 1946, that the British Government and the 
Crown Representative — i.e., the Paramount Power — will lend such assis- 
tance as they can in, negotiating such agreements. There is, however, no 
intrinsic difference between such agreements and the agreements which the 
Bill seeks to terminate. Moreover, owing to the time factor, it will 
not be possible to arrive at new agreements before the appointed day and 
the easiest way of achieving what was the intention of the memorandum 
of May 12, 1946, would be to insert in the Bill itself a proviso on the 
following lines: — 

Until new agreements are completed the existing relations and 

9. Clause 7(l)(b) read: “the suzerainty of His Majesty over the Indian States 
lapses, and with it, all treaties and agreements in force at the date of the 
passing of this Act between His Majesty and the rulers of Indian States,... 


125 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


arrangements between His Majesty and any Indian Ruler in all 
matters of common concern shall continue as between the new 
Dominion Government and the State concerned. 

The proviso should be added to clause 7(1) (b) and we would suggest 
that the three alternatives mentioned below (in order of preference) be 
considered in this connection: — 

Clause 7(l)(b) should read: — 

The suzerainty of His Majesty over the Indian States lapses, pro- 
vided that, — (here insert the proviso mentioned above). Under this 
alternative, all the words occurring in the sub-clause except those 
relating to the lapse of suzerainty go out. 

(2) The sub-clause should read: — 

The suzerainty of His Majesty over the Indian States lapses and 
with it all functions exercised by His Majesty . . . sufferance or 
otherwise, provided that — (here insert the proviso mentioned above). 
Under this alternative, the words “all treaties and agreements in 
force between His Majesty and the Rulers of Indian States” occur- 
ring in the Bill go out. 

(3) The sub-clause may be retained in its present form, but with 
the proviso mentioned above. 

Clause 7(l)(c) 10 — There should be a proviso similar to that suggested 
in connection with clause 7( 1 ) (b) ; otherwise there is the danger of 
agreements relating to the Khyber Pass, the Bolan Pass etc. 11 lapsing, 
with prejudicial consequences to the security of the country. 

Clause 9 (5) — We agree to the substitution of “31st March 1948” for 
“six months from the appointed day”. 12 


10. According to this sub-clause the treaties and agreements between His Majesty 
ahd the tribal areas were to lapse. 

11. A treaty was concluded between Mortimer Durand and the Amir Abdut 
Rahman on November 1893, by which the latter renounced all claims to a 
band of territory extending from the Hindukush to the westernmost limits of 
Baluchistan, including the Khyber and Bolan passes. As the inheritor of the 
rights and duties of the Government of British India, Pakistan considered this 
1893 boundary, commonly known as the Durand Line, as the international 
frontier, much to the discomfiture of Afghanistan. 

12. In the Draft Bill this sub-clause read: “No order shall be made under this 
section, by the Governor of any Province, after the appointed day, or, by 
the Governor-General after six months from the appointed day or such earlier 
date as may be determined in the case of either Dominion, by any law of the 
Legislature of that Dominion.** 


126 


THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


Clause 10 — We have no objection, on the merits, to any suitable 
amendment, but we consider that the security of tenure provided for the 
Judges of the Federal Court and of the High Courts in the Government 
of India Act 1935 is adequate. 1 -’ 

Clause 14 — We see no reason why the Secretary of Stat© should con- 
tinue to make these payments but if he does make them the Dominion 
will of course provide the necessary funds. The High Commissioner 
should in future do this work. The clause is unnecessary and should be 
deleted. 1 * 

Clause 19 (3) (a) (iii) — We have already pointed out that the province 
of Assam should not cease to exist merely because of the transfer of 
Sylhet. Therefore this sub-clause will need modification. 

Proviso: The Proviso to Clause 19(3 )(a) is at present vaguely worded. 
We consider it essential that the powers and functioning of the Constituent 
Assemblies in respect of the making of the new constitutions should be 
placed beyond doubt. The Constituent Assemblies should have full power 
on their own to provide for the filling of casual vacancies and\the parti- 
cipation in their work of representatives from Indian States and Tribal 
Areas. We would therefore suggest that the proviso, as drafted , be drop- 
ped and in its place the following be inserted as a new sub-clause 3 A: 

Nothing in this Act shall be construed as detracting from the full 

power of either Constituent Assembly 

(a) to frame a Constitution for India or Pakistan, as the case may 
be, 

(b) to give full effect to such Constitution in supersession of the 
Constitution previously in force, 

(c) to make provision for the filling of casual vacancies, and 

(d) to regulate the participation of representatives of the Indian 
States and of the Tribal Areas in the Assembly in accordance 
with such arrangements as it may make in this behalf. 


13. According to this sub-clause a judge of the Federal Court or a High Court 
would be entitled to the same conditions of service as he was entitled to 
“immediately before the appointed day.” 

14. According to this clause the Secretary of State was authorised to continue 
for the time being making payments which up to the appointed day he was 
making “on behalf of governments constituted under the Government of India 
Act, 1935 “ 


127 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


20. Comments of Congress on the League's Comments 
on the Draft Independence Bill 1 


Clause 2 : — 

The Dominion of India docs continue the international personality of the 
existing India, retaining whatever is not specifically transferred to Pakis- 
tan. 2 3 We cannot possibly agree to any amendment which will throw doubt 
on this position. On the contrary, we have proposed amendments designed 
to confirm it beyond any possibility of doubt. a 

As regards the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 4 their total population, 
according to the census of 1941, was about 34,000, of w'hom about 
12,000 were Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists; about 11,000 aboriginal 
tribes; about 8,000 Muslims; and about 3,000 others. It will thus be 
seen that they are very predominantly a non-Muslim area; it is not even 
correct to say that the majority of the population consists of tribes. In 
the judicial sphere, their administration is for certain purposes linked 
with the High Court at Calcutta. In other respects they are administered 
as a Chief Commissioner’s province. 

The islands do not lie on the direct route between the two parts of 
Pakistan. If they are of strategic importance to Pakistan, much more so 
are they to the Dominion of India. The claim that these islands should 
be allotted to Pakistan is therefore wholly untenable. There can be no 
question of their being allotted to or forming part of Pakistan; only such 
areas can be included in Pakistan as have expressed a wish to that effect; 
the rest remains with India. 


1. Forwarded by Nehru to Mountbatten on 4 July 1947. The Transfer of Power 
1942-7 , Vol. 11, pp. 887-888. 

2. The Muslim League had commented that the territories of the Dominion of 
India should also be defined; otherwise “the impression will be created that 
the new Dominion of India succeeds to whatever is not specifically transferred 
to Pakistan”. 

3. See the first four paragraphs of the preceding item. 

4. The Muslim League claimed that the Andaman and Nicobar Islands should 
form part of Pakistan on the grounds that they never formed part of India 
historically or geographically, they were not in the same category as the other 
Chief Commissioner’s provinces, the population of these islands consisted of 
tribes who were not connected with the peoples of India by ethnical, religious 
or cultural ties, and these islands would serve to provide a channel of com- 
munication between the two parts of Pakistan and also serve as refuelling 
bases for vessels plying between them as they occupied “an important strategic 
position on the sea; route involved.” 


128 


THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


Clauses 3 and 4 : — 

Wc have no objection to the decisions of the Boundary Commission 
being treated as awards binding on all concerned. 3 

Clause 6(2 ): — 

We have made a similar recommendation. 0 
Clauses 9 and 11 : — 

There is no reason why the Governor-General should not act on the 
advice of Ministers. If the Ministers of the two Dominions differ in respect 
of some order which concerns both, the matter may go to arbitration. 7 

We have already agreed that the period mentioned in sub-clause (5) 
of clause 9 may be extended to March 31, 1948. 

The powers of repeal and amendment of the Legislatures of the Domi- 
nions extend only to their respective territories. It is unnecessary to 
restrict them -in any way. 8 

Clause 19 (3) Proviso : — 

It is unnecessary specifically to provide in the Bill who the appropriate 
authority to negotiate with the tribal areas on the N.W.F. or elsewhere 
should be; no such provision has been made in respect of the Indian 
States. 9 


5. The Muslim League said that these clauses ‘fail to embody the agreement 
that the Governor-General is bound to accept and give effect to the awards” 
of the Boundary Commissions. 

6. The Muslim League had demanded that it might be clarified that “the legisla- 
tures of either Dominion would be competent inter alia to pass any Act which 
may be repugnant to the provisions of the Indian Independence Act, 1947 or to 
amend or repeal this Act.” 

7. The Muslim League demanded that “where the order or other act concerns 
both Dominions the Governor-General would exercise the powers ... in his 
individual judgment, i.e., he would not be bound by the advice of ministers 
in this regard.” 

8. Tho Muslim League had commented: “In sub-clause (4) of clause 9, it should 
be made clear that until the 31st of March, 1948, the powers of repeal and 
amendment possessed by the legislatures of the two Dominions would not 
extend to orders of the Governor-General which concern both of the Domi- 

9 The Muslim League wanted specific provision in the Bill that the appropriate 
' authority to negotiate with the tribal areas on the N.W. Frontier shall be the 
Dominion in which the N.W.F.P. is included. The same principle applies to 
the tribal areas in Baluchistan and on the N.E. Frontier of India. 


129 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


General: 

We strongly object to H.M.G. or any other external authority under- 
taking to enforce the awards made by the Boundary Commissions or any 
arbitration tribunals that may be set up in future. The implementing of 
the awards should be left to the good sense of the two States concerned, 
as in the case of any two independent States. 10 

10. The Muslim League considered that H.M.G. was the only appropriate 
authority that should undertake and guarantee that the awards that might be 
made by the Boundary Commissions and the Arbitration Tribunal would be 
given effect to and carried out in all respects. 


21. To Lord Ismay 1 


New Delhi 


5th July 1947 


Dear Lord Ismay, 

I am sending you a brief note on the Indian Independence Bill. 2 I have 
purposely only referred to three matters which we consider very impor- 
tant. Further amplification of these matters has been given in our pre- 
vious note 3 which was sent to HJVT.G. I should like to emphasise that 
we attach great importance to these proposed changes. 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. See post, item 23. 

3. See ante, item 19. 


22. To Lord Mountbatten 1 


New Delhi 
5th July 1947 


Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

I enclose a brief note on the Indian Independence Bill, as presented to 
Parliament.- A copy of this is being sent to Lord Ismay. I suggest that 


1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. See the following item. 


130 


THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


the contents of this note might be sent by telegram to avoid delay. We 
recognise that nothing should be done to delay the passage of the Bill, 
but we are strongly of opinion that the changes suggested by us should 
be incorporated in the Bill. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


23. Note on the Draft Indian Independence Bill 1 


While some of the suggestions have been accepted, the more important 
amendments required have not been given effect to. 2 We think that the 
non-inclusion of these amendments is very unfortunate and likely to lead 
to grave difficulties. 

2. Even if there were no two Bills, as suggested by us, it should have 
been made perfectly clear that the international personality of the exist- 
ing India continues and that India continues to be the parent State ex- 
ercising all its rights and performing all its obligations under international 
treaties, etc. 

3. In the Bill the argument might be advanced that the Dominion of 
India is only one of 564 major and minor fragments into which the Bill 
has divided India. This argument may be met by adducing various con- 
siderations, but the definition should have been so clear as to prevent the 
possibility of doubt or argument. 

4. In clause 7(1) (b) and (c) a proviso has now been inserted. 3 4 But 

1. This is reproduced in Mountbatten’s telegram to Listowel dated 5 July 1947 
printed in The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 937-938. 

2. For the suggestions of the Congress in regard to the Draft Bill see ante, 
item 19 and for the Draft Bill showing the changes made to it on the 
suggestions of the Indian leaders see The Transfer of Power, Vol. 11, pp. 
779-794. 

3. The proviso inserted in paragraphs (b) and (c) of clausd 7(1), according to 
which the suzerainty of His Majesty over the Indian States and any treaties 
or agreements between His Majesty and the tribal areas were to lapse from 
15 August 1947, laid down that these paragraphs would be effective provided 
agreements relating to customs, transit and communications, posts and tele- 
graphs, or other like matters, were given effect to until they were denounced 
by any of the concerned parties or superseded by subsequent agreements. 


131 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

this does not go far enough and even this is subject to unilateral denuncia- 
tion by any party. The effects of this are very difficult to foresee. We 
think it essential that the proviso should be in the form suggested by us 
previously. 

5. The proviso to clause 19(3) has been retained almost in its original 
form. The change made does not go far enough and the difficulties 
pointed out in our previous note remain. We think it necessary that the 
proviso should be as suggested by us in our previous note. It must be 
made perfectly clear that the powers of the existing Constituent Assembly- 
are in no way reduced by this Bill. 


24. To Jayaprakash Narayan 1 

New Delhi 
5th July 1947 

My dear Jayaprakash, 

I have received your letter of the 3rd July. I am very glad that you have 
decided to allow members of the Socialist Party to join the Constituent 
Assembly . 2 We shall welcome the persons you have suggested 3 and we 
shall try to get them in; but I may point out that it is no easy matter 
now for vacancies to be created or to be filled. This is largely a provin- 
cial matter and there is a tremendous desire among Congressmen to come 
into the Constituent Assembly, more especially as this is going to func- 
tion as a Legislative Assembly. It is difficult to issue orders from here 
as to who should be elected and who should not. In some provinces it 
will be relatively easier than in others. So far as I know, there are not 
likely to be many vacancies, as most people want to stick on to the Con- 
stituent Assembly anyhow. 

I have sent a copy of your letter to Rajendra Babu. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. Jayaprakash Narayan Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. Jayaprakash had informed Nehru that the National Executive of the Socialist 
Party had allowed, in the changed circumstances, its members to join the 
Constituent Assembly if invited to do so. 

3. The names recommended by Jayaprakash Narayan were: Acharya Narendra 
Deva, Aruna Asaf Ali, Ram Manohar Lohia,. Purshottam Trikamdas. Kamala- 
devi Chattopadhyaya, Rao Patwardhan, Asoka Mehta and Achyut Patwardhan. 


132 


THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


25. A Monroe Doctrine for Asia 1 


The 15th of August is a great day not only in the history of India or 
Asia, but in that of the entire world. 

August 15 marks the definite and final end of an era of imperialism 
started by the British nearly 150 years ago. The form of exploitation 
which was practised first by the British and later adopted by other im- 
perialist nations of Europe will terminate in principle, and to a large 
degree in practice also, by the declaration of Indian independence. 

India’s freedom is linked with the freedom of a number of other coun- 
tries. The exploitation of India gave an excuse to some foreign Powers 
to dominate the weak nations of Asia. Some small countries were kept 
under British control because they happened to fall in the route from 
England to India. Ail these nations, too, will now gradually get out of 
the clutches of the imperialists. 

India is sure to play a significant role in international politics. Already, 
she has raised her voice for the protection of Indonesia’s liberty. In con- 
nection with the Indonesian question, I have already said that foreign 
armies have no business to stay on the soil of an Asian country. 2 The 
doctrine expounded by President Monroe had saved America from for- 
eign aggression for nearly a 100 years, and now the time has come 
when a similar doctrine must be expounded with respect to Asian coun- 
tries. 

Charges of breaches of faith against each other have been levelled by 
the Republicans and the Dutch Governments. Without going into the 
merits of their individual cases, I am opposed in principle to letting the 
armies of one country stay in another. This is basically wrong and, once 
that is conceded, the Dutch have no case to put forth. Holland, which 
had failed to protect itself only a few years ago, has no right to reinstate 
itself as an imperialist nation. The success of the Indonesians will depend 
on their own strength. But lef me make it clear once and for all that we 
shall not tolerate foreign armies operating in Asian countries. 

Seeing the situation in India I can say that our joy on the present oc- 
casion is mingled with sorrow. I am happy that the “Quit India” move- 
ment which started five years ago has terminated successfully. But I am 

1. Speech at a public meeting to celebrate the Liberty Week, New Delhi, 9 
August 1947. From The Hindustan Times and The Statesman, 10 August 1947 
and The Hindu , 11 August 1947. 

2. See ante , section 1, item 38. 


133 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


sad that the picture of the free India has not come out as I had hoped 
it would. The British authority is departing, no doubt, but it is leaving 
in its wake problems of great magnitude. The division of India is a great 
shock to all those who have worked for a strong united India. But the 
Congress has to agree to it because there is no other alternative. I would 
not have minded so much if the country had been divided politically, but 
unfortunately division has taken place in the hearts of the people of India. 

It was India’s misfortune that during the last few years of her life, some 
leaders had widely preached the gospel of hate and had incited innocent 
people to commit acts which brought nothing but degradation to the 
country. This was serious because feelings of hatred and distrust cannot 
be overcome easily. 

Various reasons had forced the Congress to accept the division of India. 
We accepted partition so that India may be free. The demand for par- 
tition was strong from Bengal and the Punjab. The people said that to 
end the- massacre that was going on in these two provinces it was essen- 
tial to divide them. No Bengalee or Punjabi would have said this unless 
he was forced to do so. The very same people who vigorously opposed 
the partition of Bengal about 40 years ago, asked us to divide the province. 
Secondly, the Congress has to face the fact that certain sections of the 
people do not want to remain with the rest of India. Unity is a good 
thing but it cannot be achieved merely by resolutions. Men and women 
must accept it too, and the Congress has realised that division is better 
than a union of unwilling parts. Now that Bengal and the Punjab arc 
being partitioned there are people who say that we should not have agreed 
to division. There are occasions when we have to choose between the lesser 
of two evils. 

So far as I am personally concerned, I take full responsibility for all 
that I did during the past 16 months. Circumstances forced me to do 
what was very painful. 

The use of violence at this time to maintain Indian unity will have 
disastrous results. Civil war will check the progress of India for a long 
time to come and the problem before India is of such a serious nature 
that no delay can be tolerated. 

I hope that new relations will be established between the two divided 
parts of India and a better understanding will ultimately mitigate the 

evils of division. . 

During the last one year, the people of India have lost considerably in 
prestige as a result of the communal frenzy and they have now develop- 
ed a narrow sectarian outlook. The Government have extensive plans 
before them for the development of the country, but that narrow outloo 
has prevented those plans from being put into practice. 


134 


THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


I am in favour of giving better wages to workers. But before I can 
do that, the national exchequer must have the money to pay those in- 
creased wages and salaries. The prime need of the country at this time 
is to increase its wealth, for which production should be pushed up by 
all possible means. Anybody today who, even with genuine grievances, 
strikes work is stabbing the people in the back. 


26. A Tryst with Destiny 1 


Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes 
when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but 
very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world 
sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which 
comes blit rarely in history, when wc step out from the old to the new, 
when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds 
•utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of 
dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger 
cause of humanity. 

At the dawn of history India started on her unending quest, and tra- 
ckless centuries arc filled with her striving and the grandeur of her suc- 
cesses and her failures. Through good and ill fortune alike she has never 
lost sight of that quest or forgotten the ideals which gave her strength. 
We end today a period of ill fortune and India discovers herself again. 
The achievement we celebrate today is but a step, an opening of oppor- 
tunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us. Are we 
brave* enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the 
challenge of the future? 

Freedom and power bring responsibility. That responsibility rests upon 
this Assembly, a sovereign body representing the sovereign people of 
India. Before the birth of freedom wc have endured all the pains of labour 
and our hearts are heavy with the memory of this sorrow. Some of those 
pains continue even now. Nevertheless the past is over and .t is the future 

that beckons to us now. 


1. Speech in the Constituent Assembly at 
the eve of independence, Constituent 
Vol. V, 1947, pp. 4-5. 


midnight of 14-15 August 1947 on 
Assembly Debates, Official Report, 


135 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


That future is not one of ease or resting but of incessant striving so 
that; we might fulfil the pledges we have so often taken and the one we 
shall take today. The service of India means the service of the millions 
who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease 
and inequality of opportunity. The ambition of the greatest man of our 
generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye. That may be 
beyond us but as long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work 
will not be over. 

And so we have to labour and to work and work hard to give reality 
to our dreams. Those dreams are for India, but they are also for the 
world, for all the nations and peoples are too closely knit together to- 
day for anyone of them to imagine that it can live apart. Peace has been 
said to be indivisible, so is freedom, so is prosperity now, and so also 
is disaster in this one world that can no longer be split into isolated 
fragments. 

To the people of India, whose representatives we are, we make ap- 
peal to join us with faith and confidence in this great adventure. This is 
no time for petty and destructive criticism, no time for ill will or blaming 
others. We have to build the noble mansion of free India where all her 
children may dwell. 

I beg to move. Sir, 

“That it be resolved that: 

( 1 ) After the last stroke of midnight, all members of the Constituent 
Assembly present on this occasion do take the following pledge: 

At this solemn moment when the people of India, through suffering 
and sacrifice, have secured freedom, I, a member of the Con- 

stituent Assembly of India, do dedicate myself in all humility to the 
service of India and her people to the end that this ancient land 
attain her rightful place in the world and make her 2 * 4 full and willing 
contribution to the promotion of world peace and the welfare of 
mankind. 

(2) Members who are not present on this occasion do take the pledge 

(with such verbal changes at the President may prescribe) at the time 

they next attend a session of the Assembly.” 


136 


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THE TRANSFER OF POWER 


27. Face the New Tasks with Determination 1 


Fellow countrymen, 

It has been my privilege to serve India and the cause of India's freedom 
for many years. Today I address you for the first time officially as the 
first servant of the Indian people, pledged to their service and their 
betterment. I am here because you willed it so and I remain here so long 
as you choose to honour me with your confidence. We are a free and 
sovereign people today and we have rid ourselves of the burden of the 
past. We look at the world with clear and friendly eyes and at the future 
with faith and confidence. The burden of foreign domination is done away 
with, but freedom brings its own responsibilities and burdens and they can 
only be shouldered in the spirit of a free people, self-disciplined and 
determined to preserve and enlarge that freedom. We have achieved 
much, we have to achieve much more. Let us then address ourselves to 
our new tasks with the determination and adherence to high principles 
which our great leader has taught us. 

Mahatma Gandhi is fortunately with us to guide and inspire and ever 
to point out to us the path of high endeavour. He taught us long ago 
that ideals and objectives can never be divorced from the methods adopt- 
ed to realise them, that worthy ends can only be achieved through 
worthy means. If we aim at the big things of life, if we dream of India 
as a great nation giving her age-old message of peace and freedom to 
others, then we have to be big ourselves and worthy children of mother 
India. The eyes of the world are upon us, watching this birth of freedom 
in the East and wondering what it means. 

Our first and immediate objective must be to put an end to all inter- 
nal strife and violence which disfigure and degrade us and injure the 
cause of freedom. They come in the way of consideration of the great 
economic problems of the masses of the people which so urgently de- 
mand attention. Our long subjection and the World War and its after- 
math have made us inherit an accumulation of vital problems; and today 
our people lack food and clothing and other necessaries and we are 
caught in a spiral of inflation and rising prices. We cannot solve these 
problems suddenly but we cannot also delay their solution. So we 
must plan wisely so that the burdens on the masses may grow less, and 


1. Broadcast to the nation. New Delhi, 15 August 1947, 


137 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


their standards of living go up. We wish ill to none. But it must be 
clearly understood that the interests of our long-suffering masses must 
come first and every entrenched interest that comes in their way must 
yield to them. We have to change rapidly our antiquated land tenure sys- 
tem and we have also to promote industrialisation on a large and balanc- 
ed scale so as to add to the wealth of the country and thus to the national 
dividend which can be equitably distributed. 

Production today is the first priority and every attempt to hamper or 
lessen production is injuring the nation and is more especially harmful to 
our labouring masses. But production by itself is not enough, for this 
may lead to an even greater concentration of wealth in a few hands, 
which comes in the way of progress and which, in the context of today, 
produces instability and conflict. Therefore, fair and equitable distribu- 
tion is essential for any solution of the problem. 

The Government of India have in hand at present several vast schemes 
for developing river valleys by controlling the flow of rivers, building 
dams and reservoirs and irrigation works and developing hydro-electric 
power. These will lead to greater food production and to the growth of 
industry and to all-round development. These schemes are thus basic to 
all planning and wc intend to complete them as rapidly as possible so 
that the masses may profit. All this requires peaceful conditions and the 
cooperation of all concerned, and hard and continuous work. Let us 
then address ourselves to these great and worthy tasks, and forget our 
mutual wrangling and conflicts. There is a time for quarrelling, and there 
is a time for cooperative endeavour, there is a time for work and there 
is a time for play. Today there is no time for quarrelling or overmuch 
play, unless we prove false to our country and our people. Today we 
must cooperate with each other, and work together and work with right 
goodwill. 

I should like to address a few words to our services, civil and military. 
The old distinctions and differences are gone, and today we are all free 
sons and daughters of India, proud of our country’s freedom and joining 
together in our service to her. Our common allegiance is to India. In the 
difficult days ahead our services and our experts have a vital role to 
fulfil and we invite them to do so as comrades in the service of India. 
Jai Hind! 


138 


4 

THE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTITION 










THE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTITION 


1. The Administrative Consequences of Partition 1 


I 

* * * * 

Pandit Nehru said that he did not understand the reference to a “division 
of the staff, organisations and records of Central Civil Departments.” As 
he saw it, there was at present an entity of India. Certain parts of India 
were being given the opportunity to secede from this entity. The func- 
tions of the Government of India would continue. The seceding parts 
would have to build up their own Government. 

Mr. Jinnah said that he and Pandit Nehru were starting off from com- 
pletely different premises. It was not a question of secession, but of 
division. 

Pandit Nehru said that he did not agree. It was a fundamental point 
that India, as such, would continue . 2 

* * * * 

Pandit Nehru asked how it was intended to carry on Government 
during the period from the decision on partition, which would probably 
take place towards the end of June, until the two new Dominion Govern- 
ments were set up — a period of, say, six weeks. When the partition deci- 
sion was reached, a vital change would have taken place. The two new 
States would already then come into existence in embryo. When this 
happened, the whole nature of the Government of India would change. 
Some arrangements would then have to be made immediately „ as certain 
Members of the Interim Government would be interested in one State 


2. 


Here arc printed extracts from two reports of the deliberations at Mount- 
battens sixteenth miscellaneous meeting held on 5 June 1947. The first report 
i* in the minutes of the meeting and the second ^ m Mountbattens pereomd 
report No. 8, printed in The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11. PP- 
and 164 respectively. The meeting was attended among others by Mou 

sr-: sssfTM- 

Pakistan service. 


141 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


and some in the other. There would be a complete division of interest. It 
would become very difficult to carry on as at present. Arrangements 
would have to be made so that neither side would feel that the other 
wa$ interfering in their business. The question definitely arose as to how 
the processes of Government could be carried on from then onwards. 11 

* * * * 

Paragraph 3 of the paper before the meeting read “Similar decisions 
will be necessary as between parts of Provinces”. Pandit Nehru gave his 
opinion that the problem of the division of provincial subjects was part 
of the main central problem. He did not agree that the Governors of the 
provinces concerned should be solely responsible. 

Mr. Jinnah said that there were many things to do. He wanted to try 
to understand which was the first. They could not all be done at once. 

Mountbatten suggested that the first step should be to set up a Parti- 
tion Committee 3 4 The Partition Tribunal would decide the order of 

priority with which to deal with the various other matters. 

At first Mr. Jinnah took the line that no steps could be taken, not 
even with regard to setting up the Partition Tribunal, until the respec- 
tive Constituent Assemblies were complete. Later, however, he agreed 
to the suggestion that the Partition Tribunal should be set up forthwith. 
He referred to the representatives appointed by either side to the Parti- 
tion Tribunal as “quasiarbitrators.” He was, at first, in favour of only 
one member being nominated by each side, but later agreed to two; and 
that a third substitute should be nominated in case of sickness. Pandit 
Nehru also agreed with this. It was further agreed that the members of 
the Partition Tribunal should be the highest political leaders. Mr. Jinnah 
was violently opposed to this that there should be a fifth member of 
thd tribunal in the shape of a minority representative. 


Pandit Nehru said that he disagreed that the functions of Govern- 
ment could be completely stopped during the interim period, as he had 

3. Mountbatten said that as the interim period before the transfer of power was 
to be very short this question should be considered separately at a later stage. 

4. Later it was provisionally decided to call this Committee the Partition Tribunal. 
But ultimately a Partition Council was set up on 27 June 1947 with Mount- 
batten as Chairman and Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Jinnah. Liaquat Ah an 
'Baldev Singh as its members. Its main object was to establish peaceful con i- 
tions so that the process of partition might be completed and urgent tasks ot 
administration and reconstruction taken in hand. 


142 


THE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTITION 


understood Mr. Jinnah to suggest . 5 He further stated that he considered 
that the All-India Congress Committco and the All-India Muslim League 
Council should ratify the appointment of the members of the Partition 
Tribunal and of the Umpire. 

Mr. Jinnah suggested that the decisions reached by the Partition Tri- 
bunal should be signed by the members thereof, who would afterwards 
be bound to see that their respective Constituent Assemblies ratified 
them. 

The Viceroy pointed out that the existing Constituent Assembly could 
immediately ratify agreements on behalf of Hindustan. Pandit Nehru 
agreed that the Hindustan Constituent Assembly might want to have a 
say in the matter. He asked what would happen to the Partition Tribunal 
after Dominion Status had come into operation. The general feeling of 
the meeting was that the two new Governments would then have to 
decide whether to continue the previous system, or whether to change it. 

The Viceroy stated that His Majesty’s Government had declared them- 
selves averse to his acting as Umpire, empowered to give a final decision. 
He also was averse to this procedure. ... He suggested that a man 
experienced in judiciary affairs would be most suitable. With this sugges- 
tion there was general agreement. The Viceroy said that he was prepared 
to enter the discussions if required by both sides, but not to give final 
decisions. All tho leaders at the meeting expressed their complete agree- 
ment that the Viceroy should not be the Umpire. ... 

Tt was provisionally decided that the next highest Committee should 
be called the “Steering Committee.” 


Pandit Nehru was opposed to the suggestion that a Joint Secretariat 
should take the place of the Steering Committee.'- He considered that the 
Partition Tribunal would be unable to cope with its task unless there was 
a whole-time intermediate Committee immediately subordinate to it to 

undertake all functions except the final decision. 

Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan suggested that the Steering Committee should 

consist, of experts or officials. . „ 

Pandit Nehru said that he considered that reference to officials or 
“non-officials” was confusing. He agreed, however that the Steer, „g 
Committee should be composed of experts. It was, he suggested, up to 

5 ,i„„.h had said that the existing exec a, at >**•« »toU »»■ '“1" «• 

„ hud,, instead of being called "Steer. 

STSrS. should be a loin, Secre.aria, linn.h had agreed 


143 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


the two sides to nominate anybody they wished to serve on this Com- 
mittee. 

Lord Ismay suggested a further alternative — that the Steering Com- 
mittee should consist of two political leaders as joint chairmen and, for 
its members, the chairmen of the sub-committees. The general feeling 
of the meeting was opposed to this suggestion although it was considered 
that the chairmen of the sub-committees might well be ex officio members 
of the Steering Committee. 

The Viceroy said that he was inclined to agree with the Congress 

viewpoint that something more than a Joint Secretariat would be re- 

quired. . . . 

The meeting agreed that the Viceroy should give an account of the 
decisions reached, in the form of a written paper, at the Cabinet meeting 
the following day. 

* * * * 

The Viceroy suggested that the Boundary Commissions should not, as 

was envisaged in the paper before the meeting, report through the Steer- 
ing Committee and the Partition Tribunal to the Governor-General, but 
rather that it should report direct. This suggestion was generally accept- 
ed. .. . 

II 

31. This morning I held my third meeting with the leaders to discuss 
the paper on the administrative consequences of partition. We made very 
slow progress as each side appeared to be anxious to make political 
speeches. Jinnah was at pains to explain that both States would be in- 
dependent and equal in every way. Nehru pointed out that the whole 
basis of approach must be different; India was continuing in every way 
the same, and the fact that dissident provinces were to be allowed to 
secede must not interrupt the work of the Government of India or its 
foreign policy. Feeling was very tense. 

32. Both sides were still very anxious to obtain my services as arbi- 
trator in all matters of dispute in working out the partition. But I point- 
ed out that since both sides were already approaching the problem from 
such widely divergent points of view it was clear that I should have to 
give a decision which one side or the other side would dislike practically 
every day, and however much they now professed to believe in my 
impartiality, such a procedure could not fail to undermine their confi- 
dence in me within a very short time. T therefore felt I should not be of 
much use to them in this capacity and 1 am glad to say they agreed to 
try and find a mutually acceptable Hight Court Judge to fulfil this role. 


144 


THE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTITION 


2. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
5 June 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

I have given a great deal of thought to the talks we had at this morning’s 
conference and I feel that it would be desirable to clarify the position 
further. I am afraid I do not like at all the idea of carrying on more or 
less in our present way for another two months. This is not merely a 
question of time, but deeper issues are involved. I shall, of course, discuss 
this matter with V.P. Menon when he comes to see me. May I suggest to 
you to discuss this matter with Krishna Menon who might perhaps be 
able to help? I understand that some discussions on these subjects took 
place with him in London. 2 

2. I have had occasion to discuss briefly with a few of my colleagues 
the proposals to form Partition Councils and the like. Their reactions 
confirmed my own way of thinking on the subject. We propose to con- 
sider this matter more fully tomorrow with our colleagues, and if neces- 
sary I shall let you know what they think about it. It is obviously a vital 
matter and it may make a great deal of difference. 

3. As I view it, we are trying to provide a procedure for two Gov- 
ernments or two embryo Governments to settle this question of division. 
We should, therefore, follow the normal procedure in such cases, i.e., 
representatives of Governments should meet together and come to politi- 
cal decisions. Essentially most of the decisions will be political and only 
some of a judicial character. In case of lack of agreement on a particular 
point, the matter might be referred to a Tribunal which may be created 
previously for this purpose. I should like to separate the Tribunal from 
the high-powered supervising political committee representing the two 
embryo States. Mixing the two functions up does not appear to be desir- 
able. 

4. The representatives of the two embryo States may for the present 
be representatives of the major parties. They should function normally as 
such representatives do,’ that is to say they will take their directions from 
their principals whenever necessary. Those principals may even change 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 148-149. 

2. Krishna Menon had gone to London on 17 May 1947 as Nehru’s personal 
representative when Mountbatten went to London for talks with the British 
Cabinet. 


145 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


their representatives if they consider it necessary just as representatives 
of Governments may! be changed. This will give reality to the picture and 
the Committee or council will be in close touch with the forces that 
matter in* dealing with political problems. To appoint a permanent com- 
mittee with full powers would be to isolate it from those forces. 

5. Thus I would suggest that there should be a Partition Council con- 
sisting of four persons or some such number. This council will be the 
final authority subject to disputed matters being referred to a separate 
Tribunal of say three senior judges whose decision on those points 
should be final. Then there would be a Steering Committee and the other 
committees as proposed this morning. 

6. This would involve a separation of the judicial and political func- 
tions and instead of an umpire we would have a small ad hoc judicial 
tribunal for special purposes referred to it. 

7. These are my personal suggestions for the present. As l have said 
above, I am discussing this matter more fully with my colleagues. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


3. To Lord Mountbatten 1 


New Delhi 
6th June 1947 


Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

I have consulted some of my colleagues in the Cabinet and others this 
morning about the proposals for dividing assets, etc. They raised many 
important questions which were not easy to answer. The first question 
that arose was about the relation between the partitioning organization 
and the Cabinet. Where does the Interim Government come into the 
picture? Normally in such a governmental matter it is the Government 
that should take the lead as the final authority. In view of the fact, how- 
ever, that divisions have to be made between an existing State and an 
embryo State, some procedure may be desirable to avoid decisions in 
vital matters by majority. There may be provision for arbitration in re- 
gard to specific matters which may arise. 


I. J.N. Collection. 


146 


THE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTITION 


It is probable that this business of division and partitioning will absorb 
the energies and attention of a considerable part of the administrative 
apparatus of Government. Will this be functioning mord or less indepen- 
dently of the Cabinet or even of their official heads? Obviously this will 
create difficulties and the Government will tend to fade away from the 
picture giving place to some kind of a super-Govemment in regard to 
these special matters. 

All these and like questions arise and have to be answered. I under- 
stand that the matter ds coming up before the Cabinet this evening. 2 
Some of our colleagues will raise these questions then and I thought that 
previous intimation of this should be given to you. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

2. At this meeting of the Cabinet held on 6 June 1947 it was agreed that a com- 
mittee of the Cabinet should be set up with Mountbatten as Chairman to 
work out the machinery for implementing the partition. Next day at the 
Viceroy’s seventeenth miscellaneous meeting it was agreed that the above com- 
mittee should consist of four members — two from the Congress and two from 
the Muslim League. 


4. To M. Chalapathi Rau 1 

New Delhi 
6 June 1947 

My dear Chalapathi, 

1 have not met you for a long time. I feel we should meet and have a 
talk about the new situation that has arisen. When it is convenient to 
you I should like you to come here. 

2. There are one or two matters which, I think, should be stressed 
repeatedly. There is far too much talk of the partition of India. This 
may be correct in a way. The real position is and should be described 
as a secession from India of a certain part. India, in theory and in prac- 
tice, nationally and internationally continues as an entity except for the 
fact that some parts go out of it. This aspect of the question should be 
frequently brought out as many people appear to be misled. The present 
Government of India continues even after the secession. The fact that 
there will be Dominion Status then does not affect the concept of India. 
Our Ambassadors, Ministers, etc., continue to represent us. Our mem- 
bership of the U.N.O. continues as before. 

1. J.N. Collection. 


147 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


3. On the other hand Pakistan has to be built up from the founda- 
tions. It may develop its external relations as it likes. Thus the existing 
State of India continues with necessary adaptations due to the secession. 
The Pakistan State, however, is something new which gradually takes 
shape. 

4. Because of this viewpoint, which I think is correct and certainly 
desirable, I think it is unfortunate to talk of the division of India into 
Pakistan and Hindustan as if two new States came into existence. 

5. In regard to the Indian States it should be pointed out clearly, 
politely, but emphatically that it is an absurd contention for any one of 
them to consider themselves independent. In theory we do not agree to 
it and in practice any such attempt will be faced with enormous difficul- 
ties. From any point of view India cannot tolerate such independent 
pockets. Any declaration of independence by a State is an expression of 
hostility to the Indian Union, however politely it might be phrased. We 
can neither accept this independence nor the special relations of any 
such State with a foreign Power. We want to treat the States gently as 
far as possible, but we cannot give up fundamental principles for which 
we stand either in regard to their status or in regard to the measure of 
autonomy and responsible government that must exist there. 

6. There is some confusion in people’s minds about our accepting 
Dominion Status, and some people imagine that it is giving up of the 
claim for complete independence. This is absurd. The Constituent As- 
sembly has declared our objective to be a sovereign independent republic. 
The British Government have announced their intention to quit com- 
pletely by June 1948. Neither of these is affected by the proposed new 
arrangement. Dominion Status now or in August is really something more, 
during this interim period, than what the British said they would do. It 
is an ex-gratia gift, no doubt advantageous in the long run to Britain be- 
cause it increases her prestige and helps to produce goodwill for her in 
India. It does not take away from our objective of independence which 
we shall, no doubt, declare when our new constitution is complete. Mean- 
while the new arrangement is obviously helpful to us in many ways as 
an interim arrangement. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


148 


THE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTITION 


5. Envoy to Russia 1 


* * * * 

13. Nehru then announced that he had a number of diplomatic ap- 
pointments which were awaiting confirmation and that whereas he did 
not mind placing them before the Cabinet, he trusted I would rule that 
they did not concern Pakistan. Liaquat objected and hinted that Pakistan 
would not wish to have an Ambassador appointed to Russia. As Nehru’s 
own sister, Mrs. Pandit, has been proposed for this appointment, this 
remark was particularly tactless, though Liaquat afterwards assured me 
that he had no idea that Mrs. Pandit had been nominated. Anyway, there 
was a tremendous scene when Nehru announced that he would not 
tolerate interference by the League in the affairs of the Government, and 
that he would insist on matters like this being put to the majority vote 
and would see that the League was outvoted every time. When Liaquat 
replied equally violently, Nehru then said that if the Government were 
to be turned over to the League he himself would forthwith resign from 
the Government. Pandemonium then broke loose and everyone talked at 
once. 


* * * * 

1. Record of the Cabinet meeting, 6 June, in Viceroy’s Personal Report, 12 June 
1947. Extracts. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, p. 303. 


6. Authority for Arranging Partition 1 


Pandit Nehru said that there were various authorities in law — for instance 
His Majesty’s Government, the Governor-General and the Govemor- 
Gencral-in-Council. In law, however, the Presidents of Congress and the 

1. Minutes of Viceroy’s seventeenth miscellaneous meeting, 7 June 1947. Extracts. 
The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 184-189. Here is printed the dis- 
cussion on which authority, in case partition was decided upon, would be 
responsible for making arrangements for the same. 


149 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


Muslim League 2 counted for nothing. They only came into the discussions 
because they represented powerful forces. Therefore, Mr. Jinnah was out 
of court. 

* * * * 

Jinnah said that if the Governor-General-in-Council went beyond the 
limits of the Government of India Act, he, as a citizen, would' come in 
and challenge his authority. 

Pandit Nehrif said that this question might arise if and when any legal 
action was taken, but meanwhile it did not arise. 

* * * * 

Jinnah repeated that it was the Governor-General who had the autho- 
rity and the responsibility and the power. 

Pandit Nehru pointed out that, if the Governor-General went beyond 
the scope of the Government of India Act, he could be called to account. 
If he interfered with any Department of the Government beyond the 
limit of his powers, he would be infringing the Act. 3 

* * * * 

2. J.B. Kripalani and M.A. Jinnah. 

3. In the end it was agreed that legal opinion should be obtained on this issue. 


7. Telegram to Asaf All 1 


Your telegram No. 454 dated June 2nd. Situation in certain parts of 
India tense, particularly in Punjab but no danger of large-scale distur- 
bances. On the whole new proposals received well though critically. They 
have had a quietening effect on the situation. 

2. During June Punjab and Bengal legislatures will decide about 
future of those two provinces. It is possible, though unlikely, that majority 
may decide in favour of keeping provinces united and within the Union. 
In spite of that open to one part to decide in favour of partition. 

1. 7 June 1947. Ministry of External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, File 

No. 612-FF.A/47, p. I, National Archives of India. 


150 


THE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTITION 


3. Important to bear in mind that in case such partition takes place, 
it does not materially affect the national and international concept of 
India or the Government of India. It is in the nature of secession of some 
parts of India leaving the rest intact and continuing as India. Thus our 
membership of U.N.O. continues as before, so also our Ambassadors and 
Ministers. It is open to the new State which is seceding to enter into 
fresh arrangements with other countries. Our position remains unchanged 
in regard to those other countries. 


8. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
10 June 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

At this morning’s meeting three possibilities were suggested for the for- 
mation of the Boundary Commissions. 2 The first one stated that each 
Commission should consist of three persons obtained through U.N.O. plus 
three expert assessors from each side of each partitioned province. 

2. We have thought over this matter and we think that this suggestion 
is not feasible or practicable. This would involve considerable delay. 
The U.N.O. Headquarters would probably have to communicate with 
each member Government and a long time would elapse before a choice 
could be made. It is possible that the ultimate choice might not be a 
very suitable one. There are other considerations also which militate 
against this proposal. We, therefore, would not welcome it. 

3. The second proposal is that each Commission should consist of 
an independent Chairman and four other persons of whom two would 
be nominated by the Congress and two by the Muslim League. This pro- 
posal, with some slight modification, seems to us suitable. The modifica- 
tion we would suggest is that the four persons nominated by the Con- 
gress and the Muslim League should be persons of high judicial standing. 
These four should elect their own Chairman. If there was any difficulty 
about their electing their Chairman, the two parties could themselves 
suggest him. 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 241-242. 

2. See post, section 6, item 11 and for full text see The Transfer of Power , Vol. 

11, pp. 234-235. 


151 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

4. The third proposal has been partly incorporated in the second 
and, therefore, I need not say anything about it. 

5. We thus approve of the second proposal, as stated above, for the 
composition of the Boundary Commissions. 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


9. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
12th June 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

In some of the papers sent to me by Sir Eric Mieville there is a proposal 
about the Arbitral Tribunal which is meant to decide on matters referred 
to it by the Partition Council. It is suggested in this note that the tribunal 
should consist of three men of great judicial experience and that the 
Chairman of this body should be a member of the Judicial Committee of 
the Privy Council. 

2. My colleagues and I think that the simplest and most effective pro- 
cedure would be to request the three judges of the Federal Court to fun- 
ction as the Arbitral Tribunal for this purpose. They are all here and are 
easily accessible and are men of great judicial experience. They would, 
of course, not function as the Federal Court in this matter. We do not see 
any particular advantage in asking for a member of the Judicial Com- 
mittee of the Privy Council to come to India for this purpose. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1 The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, p. 291. 


152 


THE CONSEQUENCES 01 PARTITION 


10. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
12 June 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

I enclose the terms of reference we suggest for the Boundary Commis- 
sions in the Punjab and Bengal. 2 You will notice that they are very 
simple and brief. Indeed they reproduce the language used in paragraph 
9 of H.M.G.’s statement of June 3, 1947, without any addition thereto. 

2. We gave a good deal of thought to this matter and tried to draft 
fuller terms of reference. We found that in doing so, the result achieved 
was not very satisfactory. There are all manner of factors which may 
have to be considered. If we try to make a list of them, it is either too 
short or too long. It is better, therefore, to leave the matter to the Boun- 
dary Commission itself. They will, no doubt, take into consideration all 
factors they consider relevant. 

3. The work of these Boundary Commissions is meant to be done fairly 
rapidly. If we complicate the issues at this stage, their work will be pro- 
longed and final decisions will be delayed. I imagine that if and when 
two States have been formed, those States will mutually consider modifi- 
cations and variations of their frontiers so that a satisfactory arrange- 
ment might be arrived at. That is likely to be a fairly lengthy process 
involving the ascertainment of the wishes of the people concerned in any 
particular area affected. If all this work is entrusted to the Boundary 
Commissions, their work will be heavy and prolonged. Hence our desire 
to leave the issues as clear and simple as possible. 

4. Two particular areas have been mentioned in the course of our con- 
versations — the Thar Parkar district in Sind and some parts of Purnea 
district in Bihar. 3 I do not know how Purnea district comes into the 
picture as it is predominantly non-Muslim and is part of a province 
which is not affected by any secession or partition. Probably it was men- 
tioned because one sub-division of the district has a Muslim majority 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 292-293. 

2. See the succeeding item. 

3. On 20 May 1947 Mountbatten had informed the British Cabinet that Nehru 
had suggested that the Thar Parkar district of Sind, which was a Muslim- 
majority area but adjoined Kutch and Jodhpur, should be transferred to Jodh- 
pur State, and Jinnah had suggested that, if Bengal was partitioned, those areas 
of the Purnea district in Bihar which were contiguous to Eastern Bengal should 
be amalgamated with it. 


153 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


population. It would be laying down a novel principle if we proceeded in 
regard to other provinces on a basis of small areas less than a district. 
It would also produce confusion if a new province like Bihar was affect- 
ed by any such division of a small area. In any event no such division 
could take place without some kind of a referendum. All this would in- 
volve fresh complications and delay. 

5. So far as Thar Parkar is concerned, it is a district of Sind and can 
be dealt with as a unit. There also, presumably, it would be necessary 
to have a referendum such as in Sylhet. On further consideration, how- 
ever, of this subject, we think that this question should also not be rais- 
ed at this stage and in this manner. I have, therefore, not mentioned 
Thar Parkar or Pumea in the terms of reference of the Boundary Com- 
missions. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


11. Terms of Reference for Boundary Commissions 1 

For the Punjab: 

The Boundary Commission is instructed to demarcate the boundaries of 
the two parts of the Punjab on the basis of ascertaining the contiguous 
majority areas of Muslims and non-Muslims. In doing so it will also take 
into account other factors. 

For Bengal: 

The Boundary Commission is instructed to demarcate the boundaries of 
the two parts of Bengal on the basis of ascertaining the contiguous majo- 
rity areas of Muslims and non-Muslims. In doing so it will also take into 
account other factors. 

2. In the event of the referendum in Sylhet district of Assam resulting 
in favour of amalgamation with eastern Bengal, the Boundary Commis- 
sion for Bengal will also demarcate the Muslim majority areas of Sylhet 
district and contiguous Muslim majority areas of adjoining districts. 

1. Enclosure to Nehru’s letter to Mountbatten dated 12 June 1947. The Transfer of 
Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, p. 293. 


154 


THE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTITION 


12. Composition of Boundary Commissions 1 


* • • • 

Pandit Nehru gave his opinion that suggestion ‘A ’ 2 above would involve 
considerable delay. The U.N.O. Headquarters would probably have to 
communicate with each member Government, and a long time would 
elapse before a choice could be made. Furthermore, it was possible that 
the ultimate choice might not be a very suitable one. With regard to sug- 
gestion ‘B ’, 3 he proposed that each of the four persons nominated should 
be of high judicial standing. 

♦ * * * 

Pandit Nehru stated his opposition to the suggestion, which had 
been made by Mr. Jinnah, that the Chairman of the Arbitral Tribunal 
should be a member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. He 
suggested instead that the three judges of the Federal Court should con- 
stitute the Arbitral Tribunal . 4 


1. Minutes of Viceroy’s eighteenth miscellaneous meeting, 13 June 1947. Extracts. 
The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, p. 328. 

2. “That each (Boundary) Commission should consist of three persons obtained 
through U.N.O., plus three expert assessors from each side of each partitioned 
province.” 

3. “That each Commission should consist of an independent Chairman and four 
other persons, of whom two should be nominated by Congress and two by 
the Muslim League.” 

4. In the end it was agreed that each Boundary Commission should consist of 
an independent Chairman and four other persons of high judicial standing, of 
whom two should be nominated by the Congress and two by the Muslim Lea- 
gue. As for the Arbitral Tribunal it was agreed that Patel and Liaquat Ali 
should further consider together the composition of the Tribunal and send in 
their acreed recommendations to Mountbatten. An Arbitral Tribunal was set 
up by Mountbatten on 12 August 1947 to make awards in respect of the divi- 
sion of assets and liabilities betwen India and Pakistan. Patrick Spens, Chief 
Justice of India, was appointed its Chairman. Harilal Kama, Judge of the 
Federal Court, and Mohamed Ismail, formerly Judge of the Allahabad High 
Court were appointed as Indian and Pakistani members respectively. At the 
same time the Partition Council for India and Pakistan, the Bengal Separation 
Council the Punjab Partition Committee and the Assam Separation Council 
were also set up. All matters of dispute within these were to be referred for 
adjudication to the Arbitral Tribunal. 


155 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


13. To Vallabhbhai Patel 1 

New Delhi 
14 June 1947 

My dear Vallabhbhai, 

Yesterday I spoke to you about H.V.R. Iengar. I think he is one of our 
most capable senior officers and his services should be utilised to the full 
in the division arrangements now going on. I suppose he could easily 
do this work in addition to Constituent Assembly work. As a matter of 
fact I was thinking of him in connection with the new States Department 
that we were thinking of setting up, 2 but I feel that he might be more 
useful to you. 

I enclose a note which has been sent to me by Brij Narain, 3 a senior 
officer of the Military Finance Department. There is not very much in 
this note. Brij Narain, however, seems to me a useful person who can 
give help and information. He came to me, I think, with a letter from 
Rajendra Babu. I sent him on to Sardar Baldev Singh. He is well known 
to V.P. Menon and others. He is at present stationed at Meerut but he 
spends week-ends in Delhi. 

T believe that R.L. Gupta's 1 name has already been mentioned to you 
as a person who can be of help in various ways. He is Joint Secretary 
in the Finance Department. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal 

J. Sardar Patel's Correspondence 1945-50. Vol. 4, p. 548. 

2. The States Department was formally inaugurated on 5 July 1947 and entrust- 
ed to Patel. It took charge of the stafT and possessions of the Political Depart- 
ment, Residencies and Agencies of the States. 

3. Additional Deputy Financial Adviser, Military Finance, October 1939; Deputy 
Financial Adviser, Military Finance, 1941-44. 

4. Raghuvansh Lai Gupta (b. 1905); joined Indian Civil Service in 1930 and 
served in Bihar and Orissa as Assistant Magistrate and Collector; served in 
the Union Ministry of Finance from 1937-40; Joint Financial Adviser, foreign 
(food), March 1943-47. 


14 To Sultan Shahrir 1 

New Delhi 
17th June 1947 

My dear Shahrir, 

I have received your letter of May 29th from Jakarta. 

1. bile No. 207(111) PS/47-PMS. 


1 56 


THE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTITION 


As you know, we have been intensely occupied here ever since Mount- 
batten came. As a result of numerous talks we have agreed to a division 
of India, that is to say to allow certain provinces and parts of provinces 
to vote themselves out of India if they so choose. Probably this process 
of voting, etc. will be completed within a month from now. The other 
process of a division of assets is a much more complicated one and will 
take longer. But the main picture should be clear enough by the end 
of July. You will appreciate that the division of the Army offers a for- 
midable difficulty. 

We have agreed to this division after much searching of heart and 
painful thought. For generations past we have dreamt of a free and 
united India, and for any part of it to go out is most painful to contem- 
plate. Nevertheless we thought that the passions that have been aroused 
can only be dealt with by as great a measure of forbearance as possible. 
Countries and peoples sometimes develop psychological attitudes and 
pathological phases which cannot be dealt with by purely political and 
logical means. One has to apply to some extent the method of psycho- 
analysis to them as to individuals. On my part I feel sure that after the 
present passions have cooled down and a sense of freedom has come to 
all of us, we shall be able to consider our mutual relations in a better 
atmosphere and context. Then I think it will be inevitable for close rela- 
tions to grow up between India and the parts that secede from India. 

The effect of this division will be that roughly 20% of the population 
and area of India will secede and form a new State presumably called 
Pakistan. There is much talk of Pakistan and Hindustan. Now Hindustan 
is our normal word in Hindustani for India. But this talk of Hindustan 
and Pakistan is likely to lead to a misapprehension of the real situation 
Legally and constitutionally the position is this. India has an international 
personality and the Government of India continues as before. Our connec- 
tion with the U.N.O. and with various countries continues without change. 
Out of India, however, a certain part secedes and is formed into a new 
State which can cultivate such relations as it likes withother coun^- 
Thus we have the continuing entity of India and a new State of Pakistan 
All the treaties and arrangements which India has with other countn 

^ 0 ^^ August there will be a major ebauge in ou, constitu- 
taXshL The British Parliament is passing legislation to confer 
X India and the seceding part of it. Dominion Sta.ua How does 

"c— , Assembly has already declared that 

of Objectives. When our new constitution is ready and we can give effect 


157 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


to it, I have no doubt that we shall declare India to be a sovereign in- 
dependent Republic. Even Dominion Status gives that right to complete 
independence and severance of any connection with Britain. We want to 
have close relations with Britain in many ways, but wc do not want to 
give up the idea of the Republic. Indeed we could not do so because of 
the very strong public sentiment in regard to it. 

Dominion Status is thus a temporary phase for an interim period to 
give place to other arrangements later. We have accepted this not in place 
of the other arrangements but only for the interim period. 

Conditions in India have been very peculiar of late. In effect there is 
no real stable and final authority, although in law there is such an autho- 
rity. The British Government which is still legally supreme cannot func- 
tion satisfactorily and the administrative structure is breaking down. On 
the other hand no new authority can function. Thus there is deterioration 
and conflict in many places. It has become essential to get over this inter- 
vening period by the establishment of full authority in Indian hands. Every 
day’s delay adds to the confusion. Dominion Status, which will give us 
full authority by August next, will help us to meet these present condi- 
tions and to prepare the ground for a final changeover. What exactly our 
relations will be with the British Commonwealth I cannot just say now. 
But whatever they may be, I am sure that India will function as an in- 
dependent Republic. 

Perhaps youl know that even in the British Dominions there is a strong 
tendency to loosen the present bonds that exist within the British Com- 
monwealth. Canada and Australia object even to the words ‘Dominion’ 
and ‘Dominion Status’. It is clear that England has to face very grave 
situations both in its domestic sphere and internationally. She cannot carry 
on an empire in any way. She seeks therefore friendly arrangements. The 
English people have shown better sense in this respect than the Dutch, 
for the Dutch really are much feebler, and it is fantastic for them to think 
of holding on to an empire in any way. So also the French who are in 
trouble everywhere. 

I have given you above some brief and rough idea of conditions in 
India at present so that you may be able to follow events here. We are 
going to have a difficult time during the next few months, but we arc de- 
termined to face every difficulty and to overcome it. 


158 


THE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTITION 


I have read with great interest what you have written about conditions 
and developments in Indonesia. 2 That has helped me to understand the 
news. This news is disconcerting and I fear you may not have that period 
of peace for some months which you so badly require. The Dutch, as I 
have said above, seem to act with a singular lack of sense and apprecia- 
tion of the world today. Anyhow" wc have the satisfaction of knowing that 
the destiny of Indonesia is, in wise and capable hands and that out of this 
difficulty and turmoil of the present, you will win through. 

You can rest assured that not only the ardent sympathy of India and 
of the Indian people is with you, but that we shall help you in every way 
possible. Certainly in the U.N.O. our delegates will be instructed to help 
you. India is not at present directly represented on the Security Council. 
Therefore we cannot raise the question there directly. 3 But whenever an 
opportunity comes to us, we shall take advantage of it. I shall consult my 
colleagues and advisers as to what steps we can take either singly or m 
cooperation with China. If Egypt takes the step you suggest, we shall sup- 
port Egypt. 

We have decided to have a Consulate General at Jakarta and a Consul 
in Djogjakarta, and we intend sending Panjabi, whom you know, as our 
Consul General. We have fixed upon Panjabi as he has already come into 
contact with you and others in Indonesia and knows something of the pro- 
blem there. I am not sure how far he is approved of by you and your 
Government. If you have any difficulties or special comments, I hope you 
will let me know directly. Panjabi will be given very particular directions 
to cooperate with your Government. He has at present gone to Australia 
on a food mission. He will return in about two weeks time and soon after 
we hope to send him to Indonesia. 

We shall be very happy to meet you again. I wish 1 could come to 
Indonesia but that is not possible at present or in the near future. But I 
am sure I would some time or other. Yunus has just come here and I 
enclose a letter from him for you. 


2. Shahrir had written that the Dutch could ill afford the maintenance of troops 
in Indonesia and seemed increasingly inclined to secure a solution by force. 
While the talks about the implementation of the Linggadjati Agreement re- 
mained indecisive, he personally favoured acceptance of the Dutch proposals 
for the time being so as to avoid fighting during the next few months and 
thus oblige the Dutch to reduce their military strength, though this approach 
carried the risk of causing a split within the nationalist ranks. 

3. Shahrir had enquired whether, in the event of a sudden Dutch attack, India 
could raise the matter in the Security Council or make a joint move with 
China to mediate. He intended to make a similar suggestion to the Egyptian 
Government. 


159 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


Please do not hesitate to telegraph or write to me in case you think we 
can do something for you. 

With all good wishes to you, 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


15. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
24 June 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

You mentioned to me today the proposal that the Pakistan Constituent 
Assembly might be held in Delhi about the middle of next month. I have 
thought over this matter and consulted some of my colleagues including 
Sardar Patel. Their reaction has been entirely unfavourable and I agree 
with it. After the decisions that have been taken in Bengal 2 and the Pun- 
jab, 3 a certain part of India has decided to secede, and in effect Pakis- 
tan has come into existence. For the Pakistan Constituent Assembly to 
meet in Delhi would be odd and out of keeping with these new develop- 
ments. For it to meet about the same time as the Constituent Assembly of 
India and possibly in the same building would lead to difficult and em- 
barrassing situations. There is every likelihood of demonstrations and pos- 
sible rival demonstrations. This might even result in conflict. All this would 
be a bad beginning for the new order of things. We feel, therefore, that 
it will be very undesirable for the Pakistan Constituent Assembly to meet 
in Delhi. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. J.N. Collection. 

2. The partition of Bengal was decided upon at a meeting of the members of 
the Bengal Assembly at Calcutta on 20 June 1947. Members from the non- 
Muslim-majority areas voted for partition by 58 votes to 21. The members from 
the Muslim-majority areas gave their verdict against partition by 106 votes to 
35. On the same day at a joint meeting of the two Sections 126 members voted 
for the new Constituent Assembly and 90 for the existing Constituent Assembly. 

3. The partition of the Punjab was decided upon at a meeting of the Eastern 
Section of the Punjab Assembly in Lahore by 50 votes to 22 on 23 June 
1947. The Western Punjab Section voted against partition by 69 votes to 27. 
At a joint session of the two Sections of the Punjab Assembly held at Lahore 
on 23 June 1947 91 members voted for the new Constituent Assembly and 
77 for the existing Constituent Assembly. 


160 


THE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTITION 


16. To S.A. Brelvi 1 


New Delhi 
26 June 1947 


My dear Brelvi, 

I am sorry for the delay in answering your letter of the 9th June. 2 Whether 
Pandit Shukla was serious or not in what he said, I do not know. 3 But any- 
way I disagree with what he said. So far as I am concerned the two-nation 
theory does not hold, even though a new state might be carved out of 
India. Citizenship in India will certainly not be a matter of religion but of 
f ulfillin g certain qualifications and of allegiance to the state. You are quite 
right in saying that the partition, more correctly the segregation, is terri- 
torial and not communal, though unfortunately there were communal rea- 


sons behind it. 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. S.A. Brelvi Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. Brelvi, in his letter of 9 June 1947, wanted to know Nehru’s reaction to the 
leading article published in The Bombay Chronicle of 9 June 1947 which, 
while commenting on Ravi Shanker Shukla’s speech, argued that India was 
not being divided on the basis of a two-nation theory. It was only a territorial 
partition and not a separation of the two communities. 

3 In his speech on 6 June 1947 at a meeting of the Hindustani Seva Dal at 
Nagpur, Ravi Shanker Shukla was reported to have “hinted at the possibility 
of their (Muslims) losing the rights of citizenship in Hindustan and being 
treated as any other foreign nationals.” 


17. To J.B. Kripalani 1 


New Delhi 
6 July 1947 


I have just received your letter of the 5th. Brelvi had sent me this press 
cutting. He had also sent it to Bapu. Bapu spoke about it at °" e hl 
prayer meetings.’ I sent him a brief reply. It is perfectly ““ no ^ccep t 
has based his entire case on the two-nation theory. We have not accept 

1. J.N. Collection. Tune 1947 Mahatma Gandhi said 

2. In his speech at the prayer meet! g \ that Indian provinces 

that Ravi Shanker Shukla's speech was unfortunate and mat lnd P 

h.d ,o .how b, .heir actio. .... ... » ... 

srs i-i s. . 

separate electorates. 


161 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


ed that and I hope we shall not function in accordance with it even after 
partition. Bapu strongly repudiates that theory as you well know. 

It is a little difficult for me to deal with your long letter to Brelvi. 
There is, of course, a great deal in it with which I agree. But there is 
something in it which! does not wholly fit in with my thinking. I wonder 
if it is worthwhile for you to answer Brelvi at present at such length. 
We shall have to deal with these matters constructively in the future and 
our general policy will have to be laid down then. Perhaps it will be 
desirable for you to consult Bapu if you have not already done so. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal 


18. To Lord Mountbatten 1 


New Delhi 


7 July 1947 


Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Thank you for your letter of the 4th July regarding your discussions with 
the Sikh leaders. 2 

2. We appreciate thoroughly the anxiety of the Sikhs. They have been 
hard hit by this division. They might be helped somewhat by the decisions 
of the Boundary Commission. As for assurances in regard to weightage 
etc. I fear this raises complicated issues. All our troubles, or nearly all, 
have been due to separate electorates and the system of weightage, ori- 
ginally introduced for the Muslims. It became clear that this did little 
good to the minority concerned and only created separatist tendencies. 
The addition of a seat or two makes no essential difference. But it means 
the acceptance of a fundamentally wrong principle. Once admitted, this 
principle leads to far-reaching consequences and ill will. It is possible, 
of course, that without weightage and separate electorates some kind of 
reservation might be given with freedom to contest the general seats also. 
We should like to help any minorities getting additional seats from gen- 
eral constituencies. 


1 . 

2 . 


r he Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, p. 951. 

Mountbatten wrote that the Sikh leaders were worried that unless major 
ilterations were made by the Boundary Commission almost half of the Sikn 
lommunity would remain in the Western Punjab. They sought weightage in 
he Eastern Punjab and central legislatures and a seat in the Union Govern- 
ncnt and wanted special representation in the existing Constituent Assem y. 
rhey felt that transfer of population should be seriously considered in the 

5 unjab. 


162 


THE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTITION 


3. The question of transfer of population does not arise immediately. 
If the people concerned desire it, it must be seriously considered. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


19. To Lord Mountbatten 1 


New Delhi 
13 July 1947 


Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Thank you for your letter of today’s date sending me the voting figures 
in the Sylhet referendum. 2 


2. During the last few days I have received a number of telegrams from 
Sylhet complaining against a number of malpractices during the referen- 
dum. Possibly some of these telegrams were received by you also. Today 
I had a visit from a deputation from Sylhet consisting of Hindus and 
Moslems. They placed before me a number of allegations supported by 
various statements and data which together were formidable. I do not 
propose to send you now a detailed list of these complaints and the facts 
which are meant to support them. In brief, they referred- to a state of 
lawlessness during the referendum in the interior of Sylhet district. Most 
of the polling booths had no proper security arrangements and mUmida- 
tion exercised by Urge numbers of armed Musi, ml Mauonal Guard, 
and others who had come from Bengal. Many thousands of people who 
came to vote were forcibly prevented from doing so. There were some 
incidents of killing voters and others. 

and people travelled by boats. Voters coming by boats were not allowe 
to land. 

3 A large number of persons voted, who, according to definite evidence 
r a 

in the referendum. 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 12. 239,619 and those for 

2 The votes cast in favour of jo.ning East Bengal were , 

remaining in Assam were 184,041. 


163 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


4. On receipt of this information I sent a telegram 3 to the Governor of 
Assam requesting him to send me immediately his report and his appraisal 
of the situation during the referendum and after. I did so especially as 
a Minister 4 of the Assam Government supported the charges made. I 
felt that when such very serious charges are made there may be a neces- 
sity for a thorough enquiry. This was not only because of the referendum 
but also because of the state of terrorism that is alleged to prevail in the 
Sylhet district even now when armed bands move about and threaten 
vengeance on those who might have voted against joining East Bengal. 
Most of these people who move about are not residents of Sylhet dis- 
trict but have come from East Bengal. 

5. I feel I must draw your attention to these allegations as they are 
gravely disturbing and if they are at all based on facts then the validity 
of the referendum is doubtful. May I suggest that some kind of brief 
enquiry be made and a report from the Governor be awaited before the 
figures for the Sylhet referendum that you have sent me arc published? 1 ’ 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


3. See post , section 5, item 4. 

4. Baidyanath Mookerjee. 

5. See also post , section 5, items 5 and 6. 


20. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
19th July 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

In the statement of June 3rd as well as in the Indian Independence Act it 
is clear that the Chittagong hill tracts do not form part of East Bengal 
and Pakistan. The population of these areas is predominantly Hindu and 
the chiefs of these areas also desire to be associated with the Union of 
India. These areas are connected with the Tripura State in the north and 
the various Excluded and Tribal Areas attached to Assam. 

I am writing this letter to you so that it might be made perfectly cleai 
that no question affecting the Chittagong hill tracts arises for the con- 
sideration of the Boundary Commission. The chiefs of these areas are at 

1. J.N. Collection. 


164 


THE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTITION 


present here in Delhi and I have assured them that no such question 
arises, and that these Chittagong hill tracts form part of the Indian Union. - 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

2. In its award, the Boundary Commission included the Chittagong hill tracts in 
East Bengal. 


21. To Lord Mountbatten 1 2 

New Delhi 
21st July 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Thank you for your letter of the 20th July about Sylhet.- 

I am sorry this discrepancy has arisen between the statement of June 
3rd and clause 3(3) of the Bill, as this leads to argument and suspicions 
are raised. I suppose the only thing to be done now is to expedite the 
decision of the Boundary Commission, so that there is only one transfer 
involving Sylhet, after the Boundary Commission has reported. As a 
matter of fact, a close analysis of the voting figures in the referendum 
will be very helpful to the Boundary Commission in determining which 
parts of Sylhet district should go to East Bengal and which should 
remain with Assam. 

If it is too late to appoint assessors at this stage, I hope that every 
facility will be given by the Boundary Commissioners to the Assam 
Government to present their viewpoint. 3 The Assamese people are not 
at all satisfied with the representation of their viewpoint by Bengalees, 
whoever they might be. They feel that Assamese interests might suffer 
for lack of proper representation. 

For some time past I have been thinking of the national frontier 
■which might emerge from the decisions of the Boundary Commissions. 

1. The Transfer of Tower 1942-7, Vol. 12, pp. 285-286. 

2. In his letter of 20 July Mountbatten stated that he was aware of the apparent 
contradiction in the clauses referred to but that it was undei stood that in the 
event of the Sylhet referendum being in favour of amalgamation with East 
Bengal, the provisional boundaries of that province would include Sylhet dis- 
trict subject to the final decision of the Boundary Commission. As the announ- 
cement of 30 June had specifically provided for such a contingency, he saw 
no reason for appointing a third Boundary Commission. 

3. In the same letter Mountbatten had said that the appointment of two assessors 
representing Assam to the Boundary Commission for Bengal would delay 
matters. 


165 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


I think Sardar Patel and I mentioned this to you on one occasion. 5 At 
present this question of a boundary is thought of far too much in terms 
of Sikh, Hindu or Muslim interests. I suppose every party will produce 
arguments for the inclusion of a little bit of territory here or there. The 
result might well be a very curious frontier line with numerous curves 
and enclaves. Apart from the question of defence, such a frontier would 
create many difficulties and a simpler frontier based on some natural 
barrier would be far better. There is little chance, I hope, of defence 
coming into the picture in the normal sense of the word, but there is 
certainly danger of private raiding parties and smugglers crossing the 
frontier and doing mischief. This will have to be guarded against and 
the best way to do so is to have some natural barrier like a river or 
some special kind of terrain. The whole question is thus to be looked 
upon from the point of view of a national boundary, much more than 
that of sectional interests. 

I have suggested to Sardar Baldev Singh to depute some senior Indian 
officers to present this point of view to the Boundary Commissions.*’ In 
order to achieve such a frontier, it may be desirable to shift the popula- 
tion of the border areas to some extent. This need not involve any major 
transfers of population. We must provide for a frontier line which, as far 
as possible, avoids continuous friction and trouble. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

4. See post, section 6, item 11. 

5. See post, item 23. 


22. To Lord Mountbatten 1 


Dear Lord Mountbatten, 


New Delhi 
21st July 1947 


You will remember that I mentioned to you in the course ol a recent 
interview that Dr. P.C. Ghosh, the prospective Prime Minister of West 
Bengal, had written to me about Calcutta. From information received 
by him and his colleagues in the Cabinet it appeared that there was 
grave danger of disturbances in Calcutta when the report of the Boun- 
dary Commission comes out. Dr. Ghosh has come up to Delhi for a 
day and I have had a long talk with him. 


1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 12, pp. 283-285. 


166 


THE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTITION 


2. He gave me some account of the difficulties he was facing both 
on the Muslim and the Hindu sides. There was considerable tension 
and excitement between them and a general expectation of and prepara- 
tion for conflict in Calcutta. Meanwhile, while there is a kind of shadow 
Cabinet for West Bengal, in effect the administrative machinery for the 
whole of Bengal is continuing as previously under the charge of the old 
Muslim League Ministers. Some changes and transfers have, however, 
been made. 


3. In about three weeks’ time the full separation of Bengal will have 
to take place. Presumably the Boundary Commission will have given 
its award by then. We can, hardly wait till then to begin the process of 
separation. It is clear that the city of Calcutta will fall in West Bengal. 
It is desirable, therefore, that the new arrangements at the Centre 
should be applied to Bengal also immediately. Some adjustments may 
be made later on after the Boundary Commission has reported. But in 
the main the division of administrative functions should take place now. 
It was decided some time ago that the procedure adopted in Bengal 
shall be similar to that adopted at the Centre. At the Centre the process 
of separation of those who have opted for Pakistan has already taken 
place or is taking place, and the Pakistan Departments are being run 
separately preparatory to their departure for Karachi. In accordance 
with this, a like procedure should be adopted in Bengal and those who 
have opted for Pakistan or West Bengal should henceforward be in 
charge only of the West Bengal area, and West Bengal, including 
Calcutta, should be in charge of the Ministers for that area. It is obvi- 
ously necessary that officers who have chosen Pakistan for their future 
activities should have nothing further to do with West Bengal area. 
Their continued retention in West Bengal and Calcutta on \ ca s o 
friction and to charges and counter-charges being made against one 
another. So also officers in East Bengal who have opted for West Ben al 
should hand over charge and be sent to West Bengal. I no l ™ me 
appointment can be made of these people, they might even be gi 
two or three weeks’ leave. The point is that each set o < 
function entirely separately and should not come into each othe. s way. 


4 In regard to Calcutta very early steps have to be taken to make 
these transfers and to take all precautions to prevent any serious dis- 
turbances At the present moment Calcutta has, I believe, seven ba 
bns some British and some Indian. Among these are Punjab, Musa - 
’ >, n H Gurkhas The Punjabi Musalmans arc unfortunately bitter y 

ire anti-Muslim. There have been serious 


167 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


complaints about the behaviour of the Punjabi Musalmans. In any event 
there is no reason to retain these Punjabi Musalmans in Calcutta in 
future. They can be transferred to East Bengal or some other place in 
Pakistan. 

5. The position appears to be that unless full precautions are taken 
previously, even an attempt to transfer these Punjabi Musalmans might 
give rise to trouble. Therefore it seems necessary that sufficient Indian 
troops should be sent to Calcutta first and then the Punjabi Musalmans 
should be transferred. I understand from Dr. Ghosh, and he tells me that 
the Governor agrees with him in this matter, that seven battalions in all are 
necessary in Calcutta. That would probably mean sending three or four 
additional Indian battalions to Calcutta as the British troops are likely to 
be withdrawn and the Punjabi Musalmans will be transferred. If 
this is to be done, it has to be done immediately so that the additional 
troops might be in Calcutta by the 3rd August. The Punjabi Musalmans 
could be withdrawn and transferred then. I understand from Dr. Ghosh 
that the Governor agrees with these proposals. Dr. Ghosh suggests that 
an Indian brigadier be placed in command of the troops in Calcutta. 

6. In the event of the situation deteriorating in Calcutta, there will 
be immediate repercussions in other parts of Bengal, notably East 
Bengal. The tragic events that happened in Noakhali late last year fol- 
lowed Calcutta happenings. Calcutta thus becomes the key to the situa- 
tion and has to be fully protected from the possibility of any disturbance. 
There should also be no dual authority in Calcutta or elsewhere in 
Bengal as this leads to continuous difficulties and a lack of decision at 
a critical moment. Hence the necessity for separating administratively 
and otherwise East and West Bengal, subject to subsequent decisions of 
the Boundary Commission. Dr. Ghosh was of the opinion that by the 
3rd August many of these processes should be completed so that the new 
order has begun to function when the Boundary Commission’s report 
comes out. Of course, whatever may be done will not be treated as a 
precedent by the Boundary Commission whose final award will have 
to be given effect to. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


168 


THE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTITION 


23. To Baldev Singh 1 


New Delhi 
21st July 1947 

My dear Baldev Singh, 

I mentioned to you some time ago that the question of the national 
frontier has to be considered from the point of view of the Government 
of India. Much attention is being paid to various claims and counter- 
claims of the Sikhs or Hindus or Muslims, and apparently various parties 
are going to be represented before the Boundary Commissions to put 
forward their particular claims. None of these is particularly interested 
in the question of a proper frontier line. It is quite possible that the 
various claims and counter-claims may result in an odd and complicated 
frontier with numerous curves and enclaves so as to provide for these 
differing claims. Obviously such a frontier will be bad from the national 
point of view. 

We must give full consideration to this national point of view not 
only in terms of defence, but also from the point of view of guarding 
it against smugglers, and, possibly, for the purpose of customs duties. 
The simpler and more natural the frontier, the easier it is to guard. 

I realise fully that natural barriers like rivers or difficult terrain do 
not make much difference in terms of defence; that is obvious in modem 
war. Nevertheless, they do make some slight difference and there is no 
reason why this should be ignored. Further, quite apart from war, there 
will be the question of raiding parties, smugglers, etc. and in their case 
such a barrier would make a large difference. It is easier to protect a 
river frontier from such raids and undesirable elements than a frontier 
line which cannot be easily seen or defined. The quality of the terrain 
would also make a difference. 

Yesterday Dr. Ambedkar issued a statement on this subject. 2 I entire- 
ly agree with what he has said. I think, therefore, that it is urgently 
necessary for the Government of India to take some steps to ensure, 
in so far as this is possible, that the best available frontier line is 
drawn up, subject of course to the main considerations which have to 
be kept in view. If in drawing up such a frontier line some adjustment 
of population is necessary on either side of it this may also be done. 


1. R/3/1/157, I.O.L.R., London. 

2. On 20 July 1947, Ambedkar said that the partition of the Punjab and Bengal 
was an all-India problem for “it involves the fixation of the frontiers of Pakis- 
tan and India and must be determined primarily by considerations of facility 
of defence and administration.” The Government of India should have there- 
fore insisted that the Boundary Commission should have military officers as 
assessors. 


169 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


The time at our disposal is limited. I suggest to you, however, that 
we must take immediate steps to do what we can in this limited time. 
It is desirable for a senior Indian officer to be deputed for this purpose 
to put forward the Government of India point of view before the Boun- 
dary Commissions. Perhaps, it will be necessary to have two such offi- 
cers, one for the Western Boundary Commission and the other for the 
Eastern. These officers will study the subject immediately, consult others 
in the Defence Department and prepare their briefs. Intimation should 
be sent to the two Boundary Commissions immediately. 

It is obviously necessary that the officers so deputed should be Indians 
and should represent the Government of India viewpoint. They can get 
into touch with the lawyers engaged and explain to them our view- 
point. Mr. Motilal Setalvad is a very eminent lawyer who is appearing 
before the Punjab Boundary Commission. Another eminent lawyer, 
whose name I do not remember," is appearing before the Bengal Com- 
mission. 

I trust you will take all the necessary steps in this matter. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

3. N.C. Chattel jee. 


24. To Baldev Singh 1 

New Delhi 
22 July 1947 

My dear Baldev Singh, 

Thank you for your letter of yesterday about the Boundary Commission. 

The point you mention was raised in substance in the Partition Coun- 
cil on 10 July and for ready reference I enclose a copy of the minutes. 2 

I do not think the Partition Council would be in favour of reconsider- 
ing their decision and I am sure it would be embarrassing either for the 
Government* of India as a whole officially to put a point of view to the 
Boundary Commission or for the two provisional Governments to put 
opposite views through representatives who are still members of a single 
Army. 

1. J.N. Collection. 

2. At that meeting Mountbatten had said that he had informed Baldev Singh and 
other Sikh leaders that any active resistance by the Sikhs to the decisions of the 
Boundary Commission would not be tolerated. He was also not in favour of 
receiving a deputation of Sikh soldiers in this regard. 


170 


THE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTITION 


Sir Cyril Radcliffe,' 1 who had made the enquiry mentioned in the 
minutes of l Oth July, has been sent a copy of those minutes by way of 
an answer. 1 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

3. Cyril John, later Lord, Radcliffe (1899-1977); a leading British lawyer; Dir- 
ector-General, Ministry of Information, 1941-45; Chairman, Punjab and Ben- 
gal Boundary Commissions, 1947. 

4. Radcliffe had enquired whether in the decisions of the Boundary Commissions 
account should be taken of natural features, providing defensible boundaries 
and markings for general administrative convenience. The Partition Council 
after discussions agreed that no directive in addition to the terms of reference 
should be given to the Boundary Commissions and that it should be left to 
their discretion to interpret the terms of reference. 


25. To John Matthai 1 


New Delhi 
23rd July 1947 


My dear Matthai, 

There are many matters which we should discuss together, that is all of 
us who arc Members of the Cabinet. Suddenly problems have arisen 
which require joint discussion and yet somehow we cannot find the time. 

I am now in temporary charge of the Health Department and I do not 
know how long this charge will continue. I am thoroughly dissatisfied 
with the present organisation of this Department and I think something 
must be done quickly. I should like to discuss this and other matters 
with my colleagues. I hope that we shall devise some method of regular 
working together fairly soon, and certainly before the i5th August. c 

must meet daily at some fixed hour. 

Meanwhile, how arc we to deal with these troublesome questions 
which affect each Department separately? I suppose we had better have 
a joint meeting soon. I shall try to fix one in a day or two. 

I have had deputations from the Hindu and Sikh workers from the 
railway workshops in Lahore. I suppose you know all about thismatten 
These people ere in a jittery condition on account of al manner o 
happenings. They are on the point of m, grating to Delhi. What 


1. File No. 20(2)/47-54-PMS. 


171 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


happen to them here I do not know except that the Refugee Department 
will have to work harder than ever, when it has hardly started working. 

I suppose that the least we can do is to give them full protection and 
at the same time to make them realise that they are fairly safe. They 
should certainly be asked to remain where they are. As a matter of 
fact, it is not certain yet which way Lahore will go. 

Then there is the question of the reorganisation of the railway system 
due to partition. A part of this system in the North-West and the 
North-East is cut off from India. What will happen to that part of the 
North-Western Railway which falls to the lot of India? So also in the 
east, there is the question of communication with Assam. It may be 
necessary to undertake some construction programme to connect Assam. 
We cannot do this on any big scale, but something on a small scale 
might be thought of. 

I understand that some kind of a communique has been issued by 
your Department about the consequences following partition. I have not 
myself seen it, but it is apparently intended to create a new administra- 
tion for those parts of N.W.R. which are to be maintained by India. I 
am not expert enough to know much about this. I should imagine that 
it would be wise not to set up new administrations before a final deci- 
sion is taken. I have a horror of adding more and more high officers 
when the railway administration seems to have quite a large number 
of these people. Apart from the cost involved this will probably mean 
the retention of a number of high British officers. Even in the Health 
Department I feel shocked that there are far too many high officers 
doing precious little work. It is extraordinary how these people entrench 
themselves and create vested interests. 

Is it not possible to carry on for a while without creating a new top- 
heavy administration? Could not the East Indian Railway be given 
charge of the N.W.R. portions which come to India? Presumably, this 
will only be a relatively small addition to the existing mileage of the East 
Indian Railway. Even if ultimately this does not prove a satisfactory 
arrangement, we shall have had experience and we can decide some- 
time later. 

If a new central railway administration is created that will mean pro- 
bably a head office in Delhi and the problem of finding accommoda- 
tion for it and for a large number of new officers. You know how 
difficult it is to get houses in Delhi. Apart from accommodation, even 
the food situation here will be affected and prices are going up. 

I am told that there has been a lot of argument in the past as be- 
tween the divisional system and the district system and many criticisms 
have been advanced against the divisional system that it is costly and 


172 


THE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTITION 


top heavy. I hope you would consider all these matters before final 
arrangements are made. 

You mentioned to us one day the difficulty in regard to senior and 
experienced officers. Perhaps one way to meet this difficulty is to re- 
duce, or not to add to, such posts. In this way we might require fewer 
foreign officers. 


Dear Lord Mountbattcn, 

Thank you for your letter of the 22nd July about Sylhet and the ques- 
tion of considering the defence point of view in regard to boundaries. - 

2. I suppose it is too late to do anything now; but I must say that 
a very important matter has been treated rather lightly. As I pointed 
out in my previous letter, it is not a question of defence so much as of 
raids, customs and the many other problems that a frontier raises. 
Frontiers have given enough trouble in the past in various countries 
and the least we can do is to avoid future trouble in so far as we can. 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


26. To Lord Mountbatten 1 


New Delhi 


25 July 1947 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


. . . n. VI K .l y 1 

1 



173 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


27. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
27 July 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Thank you for your letter of the 26th July about Sir Harilal Kania’s 2 3 
appointment on the Arbitral Tribunal. 

2. There is no reason why his appointment on the Tribunal should 
interfere with his position and work on the Federal Court. He can con- 
tinue to function on the Tribunal and succeed Sir Patrick Spens* as the 
Chief Justice. We think that he can combine these two functions with- 
out detriment to either. 

3. The assurances given in Section 10(2) (b) of the Indian Indepen- 
dence Act would in any event apply to Sir Fazl Ali as Chief Justice 
though they may not apply to him as a Judge of the Federal Court. 4 
There is thus no great difficulty and no particular loss to him. In any 
event we intended making his appointment permanent later on. We have 
no objection to this being done earlier if that is necessary. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. Lord Mountbatten Papers, Broadlnnds Archives Trust, Broadlands, Romsey, 
Hampshire; also available in J.N. Collection. 

2. Harilal Jekisondass Kania (1890-1951); Judge of the Bombay High Court, 
1933-46; acting Chief Justice, 1944 and 1945; Judge, Federal Court, June 
1946-August 1947; Chief Justice of India from August 1947 till his death. 

3. Patrick Spens (1885-1973); Chief Justice of India, 1943-47; Chairman, Arbi- 
tral Tribunal, 1947-48. 

4. According to these assurances a judge of the Federal Court or a High Court 
who had been appointed by His Majesty before the appointed day was entitled 
to receive the same conditions of service in respect of remuneration, leave, 
pension and tenure of office and the same rights in regard to disciplinary matters 
as he was entitled to immediately before the appointed day. 


174 


THE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTITION 


28. To Lord Mountbatten 1 


New Delhi 
9 August 1947 


Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Mr. A.N. Khosla, Chairman, Central Waterways, Irrigation and Naviga- 
tion Commission, has sent me a note about the canal system in the 
Punjab. 2 As he has been chiefly concerned with this system and knows 
all about it, I take it that his views have a certain value and importance. 
I am, therefore, sending this note, to you. If you feel that this might be 
sent on to Sir Cyril Radcliffe, perhaps this might be done. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 12, pp. 618-619. 

2. Khosla’s note of 8 August 1947 argued that both from the strategic and irri- 
gation points of view it would be dangerous for any area east of the Sutlej, 
particularly Ferozepur district, to go to Pakistan. 


29. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
13 August, 1947 


Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Thank you for your letter dated the 10th August 2 about the note which 
I sent regarding the irrigation system of the Punjab. I appreciate your 
viewpoint and in any event there is nothing more to be said about it. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 12, p. 689. 

2 Mountbatten had written that he did not wish to do anything to prejudice 
’ t he independence of the Boundary Commission, and that, therefore, it would 
be wrong for him even to forward any memorandum, especially at this time. 


175 
















COMMUNAL RIOTS 




COMMUNAL RIOTS 


1. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
22 June 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

You have not returned from Kashmir yet and arc due back tomorrow. 

1 am, however, writing this to you rather late at night because I am dis- 
tressed and the sending of this letter will perhaps give some relief to my 
mind. 

2. I am writing about what is happening in Lahore and to some extent 
in Amritsar. Yesterday I went with Gandhiji to Hardwar and visited the 
numerous refugee camps there. There were, till yesterday, about 32,000 
refugees there from the Frontier Province and the Punjab. Most of them 
were from the Frontier Province. Daily some 200 or so fresh arrivals 
came there. Apart from these refugee camps in Hardwar, there are similar 
large camps at half a dozen other places, some in the U.P. and some in 
the Indian States like Patiala, Alwar, etc. The condition of many of 
these people is pitiable although many relief societies and local govern- 
ments arc trying to help them. 

3. But this letter is mainly about the city of Lahore where fires are 
raging and consuming hundreds of houses. It is reported that 100 houses 
were burnt down last night and this morning. During the previous two 
days about 250 houses were set fire to and burnt. At this rate the city 
of Lahore will bej just a heap of. ashes in a few days’ time. The human 
aspect of this is appalling to contemplate. 

4. Amritsar is already a city of ruins, and Lahore is likely to be in a 
much worse state very soon. Lahore is, of course, a much larger city 
than Amritsar. 

5. If you will forgive a personal touch, I should like to tell you that 
my mother came from Lahore and part of my childhood was spent there. 
The fate of Lahore, therefore, affects me perhaps more intimately than 
it might many other people who are not connected with that city. 

6 Human beings have an amazing capacity to endure misfortune. They 
can bear calamity after calamity; but it is very difficult to have to bear 
something which can apparently be avoided. I do not know if it can be 
said that what is happening in Lahore is beyond human control. It is 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11. PP- 561-563. 

179 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


certainly beyond the control of those who ought to control it. I do not 
know who is to blame and I do not want to blame anybody for it. But 
the fact remains that horror succeeds horror and w r e cannot put a stop 
to it. Meanwhile vast numbers of human beings, men, women and phil- 
dren, live in the midst of this horror, often in streets and pavements, or 
run away in search of some peace and shelter elsewhere. It is curious that 
when tragedy affects an individual we feel the full force of it, but when 
that individual is multiplied a thousand-fold, our senses are dulled and 
we become insensitive. 

7. Apart from newspaper reports, people have come from Lahore to 
see me today and they have given descriptions of what is happening 
there. Whether their accounts are correct or not, I cannot say. They tell 
me that repeatedly, when houses were set fire to, the residents of those 
houses rushed out into the streets and lanes and these people were fired 
at by the police for breach of the curfew order. Most of these fires oc- 
curred at the time of the curfew. I am told that the District Magistrate 
has ordered that people should keep open the doors of their houses and 
lanes so as to allow refugees from burning houses to enter other houses, 
because if they remain in the streets during curfew hours, they will be 
fired at by the police. 

8. This is a very strange state of affairs and few persons would like to 
be residents of Lahore at present. Surely something effective has to be 
done to stop this tragedy, if existing methods have failed and the police 
are incapable of controlling the situation. As I told you once, the insis- 
tent demand is either for the military to take charge, or for the with- 
drawal of the police and the military so that the people can look after 
themselves. You were surprised at this last demand and it is surprising 
enough. But it is passionately repeated. All manner of charges are made 
against the police of committing arson and of preventing people from put- 
ting out fires and firing at them when they try to do so. It is not possi- 
ble for me to know the truth of these charges; but the fact remains that 
there is this strongly-felt feeling about the police and further that the 
situation continues to deteriorate. Are we to be passive spectators while 
a great city ceases to exist and hundreds of thousands of its inhabitants 
are reduced to becoming homeless wanderers, or else to die in their 
narrow lanes? 

9. You gave an assurance even before June 3rd and subsequently that 
any kind of disorder will be put down with vigour. I am afraid we are 
not honouring that assurance in some places at least, notably in Lahore 


180 


COMMUNAL RIOTS 


and Amritsar. Gurgaon also is still more or less a battlefield, although 
similar and adjoining areas on the U.P. side are fully under control. 


10. From all accounts that I have received, the statement of June 3rd 
has had a sobering and calming effect in most places. Whether people 
like the decisions or not, they accept them and have a general feeling 
that a settlement has been arrived at. The old tension is gone or is much 
less. There is no more talk, as there used to be, of civil war and the like. 

11. But this does not apply to Lahore, Amritsar and Gurgaon. Gur- 
gaon is a wide area and already several hundred villages have been burnt 
down.' The damage has been done and, I suppose, sooner or later the 
trouble there will end, though it is still continuing to some extent. Lahore 
is an even more serious matter, not only because it affects a very large 
number of persons and valuable property, but also because it is the nerve- 
centre of the Punjab. There appears to be a deliberate policy being pur- 
sued there of smoking out people. It is an astonishingly loolish policy 
from any point of view and can do no good to anybody. Nevertheless 
it has succeeded in a large measure, and if it is continued on this sca.e 
for another ten days or so, there will be little left in the city of Lahore 
to save. If anything has got to be done, it must be done immediately. 


12. There is one other matter I should like to refer to. This relates to 
numerous refugees in various places. I think there should be an organised 
and, scientific approach to their problem. So far nothing of this kind has 
been done and they have been left largely to their own resources or to 
the charity of various institutions. It may be said that the Central Gcnein 
ment is not directly concerned because most of these refugees arc in the 
U.P. or in some State. I think, however, that it is only the Central Gov- 
ernment that can view the problem as a whole and help in laying down 
uniform policies. It is not so much a question of money but of proper 
direction. The Central Government may have to find some money too. 
What I would like to suggest, however, is for us to appoint a competent 
relief officer with a few able assistants to collect full particulars abou 
these refugees and to report how their problems can be tackled. He would 
naturally consult local authorities who are dealing with the problem now^ 
Some kind of effort should be made to engage the refugees in produc : t> vc 
work as far as possible. Their trades and professions should be noted 
down This will at least give us the data for the formulation of any po- 
hey Personally I feel that most of them should go back to their own 
homes But where the homes have ceased to exist, something will have 
lo bc done for them even there. Many may not be able to go back be- 


181 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


cause of changed political conditions. Perhaps the final decision in this 
matter will have to await some time. Meanwhile all this data caii be col- 
lected and relief organised on a proper basis. Discarded military camps 
might be used for their residence. 

13. Please forgive me for this long letter which you will get on your 
return from Kashmir. 2 I tried to stop myself writing it, but the thought 
of Lahore burning away obsessed me and I could not restrain myself. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

2. Mountbatten visited Kashmir from 18 to 23 Jane at the invitation of the 
Maharaja. 


2. Mountbatten’s Note on His Talks with Nehru 1 


* * * * 

2. Today Nehru came to see me and talked in the same strain. 2 He 
has suggested that what is required is a fresh approach to the problem, 
which, although somewhat unorthodox and without precedent, might 
have excellent psychological effect. He suggests — 

(i) That martial law should be declared forthwith in Lahore, Amrit- 
sar and any other area you think fit; 

(ii) That the whole operation should be handed over to the military, 
all police being withdrawn ostensibly for rest and recuperation; 

(iii) That the troops should be empowered to be utterly ruthless and 
to shoot at sight. 

* t * * 

1 24 June 1947. lixtracts. The nole was sent to the Governor of the Punjab 
for his comments. The Transfer of Power 1042-7, Vo!. 11, p. 594. 

2 In the same strain as Jinnah who had told Mountbatten on 23 June about the 
trouble in Lahore and Amritsar, “1 don't care whether you shoot Moslems or 
not. it has pot to be stopped.” 


182 


COMMUNAL RIOTS 


3. Conduct of Officials at Lahore 1 


Viceroy has just had a very difficult time in Cabinet over Lahore. He 
explained why martial law was not likely to be effective, and asked for 
suggestions. Nehru blew up and said that the situation must be controll- 
ed, and that officials concerned from top to bottom should be replaced. 
Viceroy replied very strongly that this was a totally irresponsible sug- 
gestion and that he could not consider anything of the sort. 

1. Report of a Cabinet meeting, 25 June 1947. Extracts. G.E.B. Abell's telegram 
to S.E. Abbott, 25 June 1947, printed in The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 
11, pp. 633-634. 


4. Telegram to Akbar Hydari 1 


I have been receiving numerous complaints about referendum in Sylhet. 
Reports supported by many statements and other data indicate that in 
many interior areas state of lawlessness prevailed and thousands of Mus- 
lim National Guards from outside district prevented voters from voting. 
Large numbers of persons who had died in recent epidemics supposed to 
have voted. No sufficient protection given at most polling booths in the 
interior where intimidation rampant. These and other serious allegations 
apparently supported by some Ministers of Assam Government. 

If any truth in these complaints validity of referendum might be sue- 
cessfully challenged. Bardoloi here. Matter being referred to Viceroy. 
Would be grateful if you could send immediately your appreciation of 
situation during referendum and after. What steps taken to give security 
to voters. How far these were successful and what truth there is in com- 
plaints of intimidation and forcible prevention of voters from exercising 
their rights. Whether large numbers of armed Muslim National Guards 
came from Bengal. Reports indicate that conditions in Sylhet district 
still very insecure and general intimidation continues. Trust that steps are 
being taken to meet this situation and afford security. 


1. New Delhi, 13 July 1947. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 12, pp. 139-140. 

183 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


5. Telegram to Akbar Hydari 1 


Thank you for your telegram No. 959/C of 14th July. 2 In view facts 
stated by you, and large percentage of voters and substantial majority in 
favour joining East Bengal it appears clear that any irregularities and 
intimidation that may have taken place could not have affected result 
of referendum. 

Trust full precautions will continue to be taken in Sylhet district to 
prevent intimidation and allay anxiety of minorities. 

There is slight discrepancy between June 3rd statement and Parliamen- 
tary Bill regarding Sylhet. 3 Question arises whether in case Boundary 
Commission not reported before August 15th will whole Sylhet district 
be transferred to East Bengal rectifications and re-transfers taking place 
subsequently after Boundary Commission’s decision. This would give rise 
to grave difficulties and confusion. Therefore essential that boundary de- 
cisions should be made before transfer takes place. Am drawing Viceroy’s 
attention to this matter. 


1. New Delhi, 15 July 1947. R/3/1/158, I.O.L.R., London. 

2. In his telegram to Nehru dated 14 July 1947, Akbar Hydari stated that the 
percentage of valid votes to total electorate in Sylhet was 77.33 which showed 
that a large proportion of the electorate went to the polls and that there had 
been no large-scale intimidation. In each of the five sub-divisions the number 
of votes cast for joining East Bengal was also very high. 

3. The statement of 3 June said: “If the referendum results in favour of amal- 
gamation with Eastern Bengal, a Boundary Commission with terms of refer- 
ence similar to those for the Punjab and Bengal will be set up to demarcate 
the Muslim majority areas of Sylhet district and contiguous Muslim majority 
areas of adjoining districts, which will then be transferred to Eastern Bengal.” 
Clause 3(3) of the Indian Independence Bill stated that if the Boundary Com- 
mission’s award was not made before 15 August, then, until the award was 
made, the entire district of Sylhet would be excluded from Assam and amal- 
gamated with Eastern Bengal. 


184 


COMMUNAL RIOTS 


6. To Lord Mountbatten 1 


New Delhi 
15th July 1947 


Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

I have received a telegraphic reply from the Governor of Assam in re- 
gard to the Sylhet referendum. He has given full particulars. There was 
undoubtedly intimidation, false impersonation and incursion of Muslim 
National Guards from Bengal. But it seems clear both from the num- 
ber of people who voted and the result of the voting that any irregularities 
that took place could not materially affect the result of the referendum. 

There is one important matter to which our attention has been drawn 
by Mr. Gopinath Bardoloi, Prime Minister of Assam. From the June 3rd 
statement it appeared that such parts of Sylhet district as might be deter- 
mined by the Boundary Commission would be transferred to East Bengal, 
this, of course, after the referendum had taken place and the major issue 
decided. The Parliamentary Bill is not quite clear on this point and it 
might be said that in case the boundary has not been demarcated by the 
Commission by the 15th August, the whole of Sylhet district will be 
transferred. Subsequently it might be nceessary and indeed it is highly 
probable that certain parts of Sylhet district will have to go back to 
Assam after the report of the Boundary Commission. Obviously, this 
business of transfer and retransfer of territory will produce very great 
confusion and difficulty and will completely upset the life of the district 
and surrounding areas. The process of transfer must be a single one after 
final determination of the area to be transferred. The easiest way to ai range 
this is to get the report of the Boundary Commission before the 15th 

August. # . 

This question of course arises in a more or less similar form in legard 

to the notional division of Bengal and Punjab. 

It is not quite clear as to whether the Bengal Boundary Commission 
will also deal with Sylhet. 2 Presumably, this will be so. The Assam Prime 
Minister has pointed out that this procedure will not be a happy one, as 
people from Bengal will not be fully acquainted with, or interested in, 
Assam. There is, as a matter of fact, a longstanding difference of opinion 
between the Bengalees and the Assamese, quite apart from any of t lem 
being Hindus or Muslims. The Boundary Commission consists of eminent 


1 

2 . 


The Transfer of /’.over 1942-7. Vol. 12. pp. 

The Bengal Boundary Commission consisted of Sir Cyi.i 
man and justico B.K. Mukherji. C.C. Biswas. A.M. Akram 


RadclilTe as cliair- 
and S.A. Rahman 


as members. 


185 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


Calcutta High Court judges who naturally will be inclined to view the 
question more from the point of view of Bengal than of Assam. 

I do not know what can be done about this matter. Because of the 
shortness of time available it might be desirable to have a third Boun- 
dary Commission for the Sylhet area, one person representing the Con- 
gress and the other the Muslim League, with a Chairman. This Com- 
mission might work in collaboration with the Bengal Commission. 

Or else, it might be possible to attach two assessors, representing Assam, 
to the present Boundary Commission for Bengal. They would only func- 
tion in so far as Sylhet area is concerned. 

These are just ideas which occurred and I have not consulted anyone 
about them yet. If you wish, however, you could consult Mr. Gopinath 
Bardoloi, the Assam: Prime Minister, in regard to this matter. 

I am attaching a brief note by Sir B.N. Rau pointing out the slight 
discrepancy between the June 3rd statement and the draft Parliamentary 
Bill in regard to Sylhet. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


7. To S.A. Brelvi 1 


New Delhi 
22 July 1947 

My dear Brelvi, 

I have your telegram about Hindi-Hindustani. I agree with you that this 
move to oust Hindustani is unfortunate and undesirable. 1 have been try- 
ing to combat it, not with great success 1 am sorry to say. Unfortunately 
this partition business has roused passions among the Hindus and they 
are acting in a narrow short-sighted way in many respects. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. K.B. Mcnon Papers, N.M.M.I.. 


18C, 


COMMUNAL RIOTS 


8. To Perin Captain 1 


New Delhi 


22 July 1947 


My dear Perin. 

I have your letter of the 21st July. I do not know where you get your 
news from. Far from supporting the move to push out Hindustani, 1 
have been fighting against this in the party meetings of the Constituent 
Assembly. I am afraid I have not succeeded in convincing the majority. 
So far as I am concerned, I am quite clear that the move to oust Hindu- 
stani and revert to what is called pure Hindi is undesirable. 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 


9. To the Maharaja of Bharatpur 1 

New Delhi 
28 July 1947 

My dear Maharaja Saheb, 2 

I have had two deputations of Muslim Mcos, who arc resident of Bharat- 
pur and neighbourhood, complaining of the sufferings they have under- 
gone during recent disturbances. They wanted me to draw your attention 
to die unhappy plight in the hope that some relief might be afforded to 
them. I have no doubt that you arc fully aware of the situation. Indeed 
I have read a statement by you in the press on the subject. • I hope t at 
everything will be done to put an end to attacks by one community on 
another which can only leave a trail of bitterness and suffering behind. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1 J N Papers, N.M.M.L. .. 

2 Brijendra Singh; succeeded his father in 1929 but was invested with rui n; 
powers in October 1939; the administration was taken over from bun by the 
Government of India in 1948; elected to Lok Snbha as an Independent candi- 

date in 1967. reported that the Government of Bharatpur Stale 

wherever they were in a minouty. 


187 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


10. To Kiran Sankar Roy 1 


New Delhi 
1 August 1947 

My dear Kiran, 

Your letter came some time ago. 2 I realise all the difficulties you point 
out in regard to minorities in East Bengal. We shall, of course, try to 
do our best to help them. 

I entirely agree with you that the members of the minority communi- 
ties in' Pakistan should not be treated as aliens in India. For the present 
and until such time as we have Dominion .Status no question of being 
aliens arises for anyone. It is only after Dominion Status ends that nation- 
ality will have to be defined rather precisely. You can rest assured that 
we shall give every facility to minorities in Pakistan. Essentially, however, 
this will be a provincial matter. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. i.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. On 18 July, Kiran Sankar Roy wide* that since the partition of Bengal there 
wad. “legitimate fear” that the minority community would be subjected to un- 
fair discrimination in respect of employment in public services and in trade, 
professions and business. They were also afraid of interference or domination 
in the spheres of religion and culture. He requested Nehru to make an authori- 
tative declaration that the members of the minority communities in Pakistan 
would not be treated as aliens in India. 


11. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
4 August 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

I had a visit from some members of the East Punjab Ministry yesterday. 
They informed me that the situation in Lahore continues to be very 
tense and the advent of August 15th was looked upon with apprehension 
by many who expect a possibility of trouble then. All this is, of course, 
well known to you. 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 12, p. 501. 


188 


COMMUNAL RIOTS 


2. I was told that when you went to Lahore 3 recently it was suggested 
to you that military 1 pickets might be kept in the city of Lahore in addi- 
tion to the police who are already there. Apparently you approved of this 
suggestion. But it ha$ not yet been given effect to. The East Punjab Mi- 
nisters were afraid that unless these pickets are sent there soon, there 
might be a considerable exodus from the city of Lahore. This might be 
avoided by the presence of the pickets during this critical phase. 

3. I imagine there is no difficulty about this as the troops are already 
in Lahore and only some minor arrangements have to be made. This 
would certainly reassure the people in Lahore city and scotch the rum- 
ours^ of trouble. I hope it will be possible for this to be arranged soon. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


2. Mountbatten visited Lahore on 20 July and, at a meeting with the Punjab 
Partition Committee, discussed the arrangements for the imminent partition 
of the Punjab. 


12. To Rajendra Prasad 1 

New Delhi 
7 August 1947 

My dear Rajendra Babu, 

I have just received your letter of today’s date. 2 

2. I have also received a large number of telegrams and post cards 
about stopping cow slaughter, though they are far fewer than the num- 
ber received by you. I have met the deputation led by Maharaj Partap 
Singh 3 and had a long talk with them. 

3. Nobody can possibly doubt the widespread Hindu sentiment in favour 
of cow protection. At the same time there is something slightly spurious 
about the present agitation. Indeed the number of telegrams and post 

1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. Rajendra Prasad had drawn Nehru's attention to the large number of letters 
and telegrams he had received favouring legislation banning cow slaughter and 
the inclusion of a national song in the morning function of 15 August. 

3. Guru of the Namdhari Sikhs. 


189 


SELECTED WORKS OP JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


cards, though impressive, is itself a sign of artificiality to some extent. 
Dalmia’s money is flowing and Dalmia is not exactly 1 a desirable person. 

4. The fact, however, remains that there is very strong Hindu feeling 
in this matter. There is also the additional fact that for economic reasons 
certain steps must be taken for stopping the slaughter of milch cows and 
of trying to improve the breed and condition of cattle. 

5. This question should in any event be considered in its larger con- 
text of general planning. It is possible to take some preliminary measures 
even before any larger scheme is passed. But I think that it is quite out 
of the question for us to talk about stopping cow slaughter generally 
without the fullest examination of its political and economic effects. I 
am convinced that if we did so suddenly it would result in great injury 
to cattle in India. Our better breeds will be swamped out of existence 
and there would be a general degradation. 

6. Every important question runs into another and the two cannot be 
separated if we have a balanced view. I remember that one sub-committee 
of the National Planning Committee reported strongly in favour of adding 
to the pasture lands for cattle. Another sub-committee dealing with a 
slightly different problem recommended equally strongly the use of the 
present pasture lands for food production and stated that to continue 
these pasture lands was injurious to the nation. This shows how one has 
to weigh every aspect before deciding one course of action. For my part 
I am convinced that any precipitate action might lead to very unhappy 
results, even from the point of view of cow protection. 

7. I do not think we can ignore the political aspect. India, in spite of 
its overwhelming Hindu population, is a composite country from the re- 
ligious and other points of view. It is a vital problem for us to solve as 
to whether we are to function fundamentally in regard to our general po- 
licy as such a composite country, or to function as a Hindu country 
rather ignoring the viewpoints of other groups. It is inevitable that the 
majority Hindu sentiment will affect our activities in a hundred ways. 
Nevertheless it does make a difference whether we try to think of India 
as a composite country* or as a Hindu country. It should be remembered 
that thei stoppage of cow slaughter means stopping non-Hindus from do- 
ing something which they might do. For economic reasons steps can al- 
ways be taken because they are justified on economic grounds. But if any 
such step is taken purely on grounds of Hindu sentiment, it means that 
the governance of India is going to be carried on in a particular way, 
which thus far we have not done. 


190 


COMMUNAL RIOTS 


8. You know how strong an advocate of cow protection Bapu is. Never- 
theless, so far as I am aware, he is opposed to any compulsory stoppage 
of cow slaughter. His chief reason, I believe, is that we must not function 
as a Hindu State but as a composite State in which Hindus, no doubt, 
predominate. 

9. This question, therefore, raises rather vital issues in regard to our 
approach to almost all our problems. As you know, there is a very strong 
Hindu revivalist feeling in the country at the present moment. I am 
greatly distressed by it because it represents the narrowest communalism. 
It is the exact replica of the narrow Muslim communalism which we have 
tried to combat for so long. I fear that this narrow sectarian outlook will 
do grave injury not only to nationalism as such but also to the high 
ideals for which Indian and Hindu culture has stood through the ages. 
We are facing a crisis of the spirit in India today and a false step may 
have far reaching consequences. 

10. I have felt often enough during the past few weeks, and have 
stated as much at our party meetings in the Constituent Assembly and 
elsewhere, that I find myself in total disagreement with this revivalist 
feeling, and in view of this difference of opinion I am a poor representa- 
tive of many of our people today. I felt honestly that it might be better 
for a truer representative to take my place. That would do away with 
the unnaturalness and artificiality of the present position. 

11. These general considerations are very important and will have to 
be decided by us or others. On that decision depends our entire future 
policy, domestic, national and international. India is on the verge of 
great happenings and is going to step out boldly as a free country. What 
that step should be is a highly important matter and it will be watched 
all over the world. 

12. But apart from these considerations, I just do not see what we can 
do in regard to the stoppage of cow slaughter within the next week or 
so. Any step that wc might take may for the moment please many peo- 
ple, it will be resented by some at least. It will also give rise to the feel- 
ing that we do not act deliberately and after full thought but arc rushed 
into action by any organised attempt to influence us regardless of the 
merits of the question. 

13. As for singing on the 15th morning in the Constituent Assembly, 1 
have ventured to point out that singing on such occasions is exceedingly 
unusual and inappropriate even when there is a well recognised official 


191 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


national anthem. When we have not got such an official anthem, it 
would be still more inappropriate. We did not use our flag in this way 
so long as it had not been officially accepted by the Constituent Assem- 
bly. For my part I do not want singing in the Constituent Assembly at 
any time, either in the night of the 14th or in the morning of the 15th. 
But as the night session is a very unusual occurrence, I agreed that some- 
thing perhaps might be done there. 

14. I entirely agree with you that any unpleasant incident ought to be 
avoided in the Constituent Assembly or elsewhere. I do not apprehend 
any such thing because we function in a disciplined way. There was a 
long debate on this matter at our party meeting and ultimately it was 
decided that the matter should be left entirely to you as President. It 
was clearly understood that there will be no singing if you so decide. 
Should you so wish it, the matter can be considered afresh at the party 
meeting to be held on the 14th morning or afternoon. Whatever the de- 
cision of the party is going to be will have to be honoured. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


13. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
8 August, 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Thank you for your letter of the 6th August about posting of military 
pickets inside Lahore city. 2 

I have also received your letter of the 6th August about the visit of 
Admiral Palliser. 3 The Admiral will be welcome when he comes here. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. J.N. Collection. 

2. Mountbatten wrote: “There would undoubtedly be danger in scattering t e 
military force too much, and they appear to be available, at very short notice, 
at any point inside Lahore.” 

3. Mountbatten had asked for Nehru's approval of the visit of Admiral Palliser, 
Commander-in-chief, Last Indies (1946-48), to India in December 1947. 


192 



VOTING FOR PARTITION. A.I.t'.C SESSION. NEW DELHI. 15 JUNE l»47 





WITH MAHATMA GANDHI AT HARDWAR, 25 JUNK 1947 


COMMUNAL RIOTS 


14. Telegram to Llaquat All Khan 1 

9 August 1947 

Proceeding Jullundur and Amritsar Sunday 24 August. We and East 
Punjab Government are taking every step to bring situation under con- 
trol. Most disturbing news is reaching us from West Punjab where 
situation has been rapidly deteriorating. Full account of happenings last 
week at Gujranwala and Wazirabad still not known and position inside 
Lahore town continues obscure causing deep anxiety. Understand large- 
scale burning and destruction of life and property has taken place at 
Chichawatni, Montgomery, Okara and Pattoki. Thousands of refugees 
reported at stations along Raewind Montgomery Railway line under 
conditions of greatest danger and without protection with serious in- 
cidents reported from Raewind and elsewhere. Would urge you as 
matter of highest urgency to arrange immediate protection to refugees 
by troops in which minorities can have confidence and to assist evacua- 
tion by all possible means under suitable protection. Please also take 
firm and urgent action regarding forcible occupation of shops and houses 
vacated by panic-stricken refugees. Suggest both India and Pakistan 
Governments issue statements that preservation of law and property 
will be recognized. Would suggest fullest exchange of official informa- 
tion regarding Punjab situation between Central and Provincial Govern- 
ments as lack of authoritative news creates serious problems. 

Jawaharlal Nehru 


I. Sardar Patel's Correspondence 1945-50, Vol. 4, p. 247. 


15. Hindustani a Symbol of Synthesis’ 


Many years ago the National Congress decided to encourage Hindustani 
as the national language of India. I think that this was a wise decision 
from every point of view. Perhaps I am partial to Hindustani because 

I New Delhi 12 August 1947. Message sent to Perin Captain for the Hindus- 
tani Conference to be held in Bombay. J.N. Papers. N.M.M.L. 


193 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


it is my home language. But my opinion is based on wider considera- 
tions. 

Hindustani must essentially be the language generally spoken or simp- 
ly written by most people using it. That means that it must represent 
the various sources which have gone to make it and it must not be too 
Sanskritized or too Persianizcd which would divorce it from large masses 
of people. 

It is true that Hindi and Urdu have developed separate literary forms 
although essentially they are one and the same language. There is no 
need to suppress or discourage any of these literary forms, although 
many of them are highly artificial and beyond the conception of the 
average person. No great language can grow up if it! is based on literary 
coteries, although such literary groups naturally influence the growth 
of language. 

Language cannot be forced. It has to grow. We can, however, help 
it to grow in a particular direction. I think that we should attempt to 
develop a language in our speech and writing which is something be- 
tween the two extreme literary forms and which, for convenience, has 
come to be known as Hindustani. 

India is a composite nation and state. If India is to become great, 
she will have to retain this composite character and be receptive to 
ideas and influences from outside, while adhering to its own funda- 
mental genius. Hindustani is a peculiar and significant development of 
the synthesis which has been so characteristic of Indian life and culture. 
It can grow from many rich sources and become very soon, I think, 
a powerful and expressive language. I hope, therefore, that it will be 
encouraged. 


194 


6 

THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 







































THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


1. To Begum Abdullah 1 

New Delhi 
4 June 1947 

My dear Begum Sahiba, 

Thank you for your letter of the 23rd May which I was happy to receive. 

It is now almost a full year since I went to Kashmir and was arrested 
and detained there for a few days. 2 This year has been a hard and diffi- 
cult one for all of us but more especially for our friends and colleagues 
in Kashmir. In spite of heavy preoccupations with vital problems, my 
mind has frequently turned to Kashmir and its unhappy people. I have 
thought often of Sheikh Saheb suffering imprisonment and I have felt dis- 
tressed that, at a time when his wise guidance was more necessary than 
ever from every point of view, he should be kept in prison. 3 What has dis- 
tressed me still more is that I have been unable to do anything effective 
to help him and the people of Kashmir when they were facing and suffer- 
ing under repression of an extreme type. But at no time did 1 doubt 
that the courage and sacrifice of Sheikh Saheb and the people of Kash- 
mir would not yield results. 

We are living in changing and stirring times when the fate of India 
is being decided. Many things have happened and are happening which 
we do not like, but I have a firm conviction that the will of the people 
will prevail in Kashmir as in the whole of India, and the ideals that 
Sheikh Saheb has stood for will find a large measure of fulfilment. With 
this conviction we have laboured in various fields even though present 
results have sometimes been disheartening. 

Kashmir is dear to me for a number of reasons. Being a Kashmiri, I 
can never forget it and I am passionately attached to its mountains and 
wonderful scenery. In recent years my contact with the National Con- 
ference has brought me in touch with the masses of Kashmir, and their 
poverty and misery has sunk deep into my heart. Nothing that can hap- 
pen can break these strong bonds that tie me to Kashmir and its people, 
and their welfare will ever remain a first priority with me. 


1. J.N. Collection. 

2. On 19 June 1946 Nehru courted arrest at Domel by defying a ban on his 
entry into Kashmir State while on his way to Srinagar to arrange for the 
defence of Sheikh Abdullah. See Selected Works , Vol. 15, pp. 391-393. 

3. Sheikh Abdullah was, on 10 September 1946, sentenced to three years simple 

imprisonment on a charge of sedition with respect to certain speeches he had 
delivered in May that year, calling on the Maharaja’s family to 4 Quit Kashmir. 


197 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

I have been deeply grieved to learn that the policy of repression by 
the State authorities is continuing with full vigour and that recently 
punitive fines are being collected with ruthlessness. The suffering of the 
people during the last hard winter is still fresh in our minds. 

I earnestly hope that Sheikh Saheb will be free soon and we shall 
have the benefit of his counsel in considering the grave problems be- 
fore us. Youi will, I trust, convey to him my affection and good wishes. 

During the past months I have had information of the great work that 
you have been doing in giving relief to those who are in distress in 
Kashmir. I have admired the very fine work that you have done and 
the great capacity you have shown at a moment of trial and difficulty. 
I trust that you will continue thi3 noble work. I am sending you a draft 
for Rs. 5,000/- which you may use for this relief of distress in Kashmir 
in such manner as you may think fit. 

With regards and good wishes, 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


2. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
4 June 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

I am informed that His Highness the Nawab of Bhopal has written to 
you tendering his resignation from the office of the Chancellor of the 
Chamber of Princes on the ground that the Chamber will now become 
functus officio . 2 Further he has stated that Bhopal State would, as soon 
as paramountcy is withdrawn, be assuming an independent status. 

It seems clear that the Chamber of Princes, as constituted, cannot con- 
tinue tq exist for long. But it is also clear that unless complete adminis- 
trative chaos is to be avoided, some machinery has to continue to deal 
with States problems as a whole during this transition period and before 
other arrangements are made. 

I have written to you on several occasions previously about certain 
steps being taken by the Political Department in regard to the winding 
up of Residencies, Agencies, etc., in the States. I have pointed out that 
while these Residencies represented the Paramount Power in regard to 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7 , Vol. 11, ppj 129-131. 

2. ‘having served its purpose’; ‘of no further official authority.* 


198 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


certain matters, they also represented the Government of India in regard 
to a very large number of other matters. If these Agencies suddenly dis- 
appear, there will be no point of contact left between the Government 
of India and the numerous States, and administrative chaos will result. 
If you so wish I can send you a fuller note on this subject. For the 
present I would point out that there are numerous matters such as rail- 
way jurisdiction in the States, customs, etc., distribution of food, cloth, 
etc., extradition and so on, which will be difficult for anyone to handle 
if these Agencies disappear and the States suddenly consider themselves 
independent. 3 Innumerable pockets will be created in India which would 
encourage smuggling and criminal activities. 

It has been proposed that each State should deal directly with the 
various Departments of, the Government of India. This is an extraordin- 
ary proposal, for no Department will be able to deal with hundreds of 
letters from a large number of units. And even if it could deal with them, 
there would be no common coordinated policy. There has therefore to 
be not only some centralised Agency of the Government of India to deal 
with all such matters at headquarters, but also their Agents in the vari- 
ous States. They may cease to be Residents answerable to the Para- 
mount Power, but they will continue to be Agents of the Government 
of India till such time as other arrangements are made. The whole ad- 
ministrative structure dealing with the vast number of complicated mat- 
ters cannot be wound up in this way without having something to take 
its place. 

The whole policy of the Political Department has caused us a great 
deal of uneasiness. It can only be described in Mr. Winston Churchills 
(language as operation scuttle. 4 It seems to be deliberately intended to 
break up the administrative unity of India which the Government of 
India and paramountcy have maintained. It must be remembered that 
paramountcy matters are very limited in scope and at least 95% of the 
dealings of the States through the Residents are with the! Government of 
India. If this policy of the Political Department is pursued, it can only 
mean introducing anarchy into India by the back door. Some machinery 
must be created to deal with these matters and till this is created, the 


4 . 


Corfield suggested to the India Office on 30 November 1946 that if Nehru s 
assent to the principles laid down in the Cabinet Mission’s memorandum on 
the States treaties and paramountcy was not forthcoming, the “only equitable 
alternative" was for the Crown to begin at once restoration of States rights 
such as retrocession of jurisdiction over railway lands and 
In a debate on India in the House of Commons on 6 March 1947, Churchdl 
had remarked: ‘‘Is he (Mountbatten) to make a new efTort to restore the si tiu- 
ZTi it to be merely an ‘operation scuttle’ on which he and other 
distinguished officers have been dispatched?" 


199 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


present machinery should carry on with necessary alterations. We have 
today to deal with railways, posts and telegraphs and so many other 
matters. Are Railways to stop when they cross States’ boundaries, or is 
the postal system not to operate in certain States? 

The States are so situated that if they are independent entities they 
can create very great difficulties in tho administration of even the rest of 
India. It is impossible for us to admit the right of any of these States 
to independence and to do just whai they will. That affects the whole of 
India’s administration, defence and other problems. We are prepared to 
deal with them in as friendly a manner as possible, but we cannot ad- 
mit the right of a declaration of independence by a State such as Bho- 
pal apparently intends to do. It must be remembered also that the right 
of protection which the States possess will also go with paramountcy. 

I am writing to you more or less briefly on an intricate problem about 
which a very great deal can be said. But I want to draw your attention 
urgently to these developments that are taking place at the instance of 
the Political Department and without any reference to the Government 
of India. This is going to lead to a great deal of friction and possibly 
to worse consequences. 

Yours sincerely* 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


3. The States and the Constituent Assembly 1 2 


The Viceroy gave a brief account of his meeting with members of the 
States Negotiating Committee on Tuesday, 3rd June.- He said that he 
had done nothing to encourage any of the States to stand out alone and 
to join neither Constituent Assembly. He had given no official advice 

1. Minutes of the Viceroy’s sixteenth miscellaneous meeting held on 5 June 1947. 
Extracts. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, p. 142. 

2. At this meeting, in reply to a question by Ramaswami Aiyar, Mountbatten 
had said “that, in his opinion, the fact that paramountcy was about to lapse 
made possible negotiations by the States on a basis of complete freedom, even at 
the present time. His instructions were that paramountcy should lapse on the 
transfer of power.” 


200 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 

on this point, but was prepared to give his personal advice if and when 
he was asked for it. He said that he had advocated the desirability of 
arrangements being made for interim agreements on a standstill basis 
pending the ratification of existing agreements or the preparation of new 
ones. Both Mr. Jinnah and Pandit Nehru declared themselves in favour 
of this. 

Pandit Nehru complained that the procedure at present being adopted 
by the Political Department in connection with the lapse of paramountcy 
was sabotaging all, the existing machinery and was likely to produce ad- 
ministrative chaos. He pointed out that by far the greater part of the 
work done by the Residents was not in connection with paramountcy, 
but to do with the Government of India. Some machinery was essential 
to carry on this coordination. There was a degree of such machinery 
in existence for those States which had joined or would join the Con- 
stituent Assembly; but it was essential for the Government of India to 
have contacts with all the States after the lapse of paramountcy. 

The Viceroy said that he would give the points raised by Pandit Nehru 
his serious consideration. 


4. To Baldev Singh 1 

New Delhi 
9 June, 1947 

My dear Baldev Singh. 

Thank you for your letter of the 8th June sending me correspondence 
with the Viceroy regarding military officers for the Frontier. 

I should like to draw your particular attention to the efforts being 
made by various States now to strengthen their position in a military 
sense. This naturally applies to some of the major States only. In parti- 
cular it applies to Hyderabad. Hyderabad does not wish to shout about 
its independence just at present after the manner of Sir C.P. Ramaswami 
and Travancore. But it wants to proceed more cautiously by getting more 
and more footholds and opportunities especially to strengthen its army 
and its arsenals. I hope that you and the Defence Department will keep 
a vigilant eye over all these States matters. Whatever final political deci- 
sions are arrived at will, of course, be given effect to. But there is no 
reason why these political decisions should be extorted from us against 

our will. 

1. J.N. Collection. 

201 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


The main thing is to see to it that no facilities are afforded for in- 
crease in the strength of the Army or recruitment of outside elements, 
or of obtaining modern arms. Also we should not encourage the manu- 
facture of precision instruments. 

You will remember speaking to me about the retrocession of canton- 
ment areas. I do not know how far this matter has proceeded, but the 
more this is held up the better. Indeed the proper time to deal with such 
matters is in connection with the general settlement with the Govern- 
ment of India about many other matters common to the Government 
of India and Hyderabad State. 

Hyderabad has got vague ambitions of having a port, either Masuli- 
patam or Goa. All this is fantastic nonsense. In any event we have to be 
careful in all our dealings with the States at the present moment. I do 
not know what the exact position is of Bolarum and Thrimalgiri. As far 
as possible these should be retained by us in all-India defence interests. 

Yours sincerely. 

Jawaharlal Nehru 


5. To C.H. Bhabha 1 

New Delhi 
9 June, 1947 

My dear Bhabha, 

I understand that certain references are being made to the Works, Mines 
and Power Department from the Political Department in regard to the 
buildings and other appertenances of the Political Department in the 
Indian States. These buildings are being used by Residents and other 
Agencies of the Political Department in the States. The Political Depart- 
ment is being wound up. 

We arc taking strong exception to the way the Political Department 
is liquidating itself without reference to the Government of India which 
is so intimately concerned with the matter. Our position is| that the Poli- 
tical Department should hand over all its functions in relation to the 
Government of India to the Government of India. In this connection 
I have been writing to the Viceroy making various proposals for the 

1. J.N. Collection. 


202 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


Government of India to deal with matters of common concern with the 
States during this interim period and till fresh arrangements have been 
made. 

Meanwhile we must hold on to all our properties, buildings, equip- 
ment, etc. in the Residencies and Agencies in States. We must not agree 
to sell them or transfer them or otherwise dispose of them to anybody. 
They are our properties and we may require them, and indeed probably 
will require them in the future. And it would be unwise to dispose of 
them now even though the Rulers may want us to do so. Please there- 
fore keep a vigilant eye on these properties and hold on to them and 
make it clear to the Political Department that you do not propose to 
dispose of these properties in any way as you think that the Govern- 
ment of India will require them in the immediate future. 

Yours sincerely. 

Jawaharlal Nehru 


6. To John Matthai 1 


New Delhi 
9th June, 1947 

My dear Matthai, 

You know that all manner of intrigues are afoot in some States. More 
particularly in Hyderabad which talks vaguely in terms of independence. 
Without definitely declaring in favour of independence, a number of 
different approaches are being made to get control of communications, 
etc. Whatever the future decisions may be will depend upon political 
factors. Meanwhile I suggest to you that nothing should be done or 
agreed to which relaxes our control over the railways or the police 
force on the railways in Hyderabad State. This applies particularly to 
the Sholapur-Raichur and Bezwada-Nagpur sections. I hope you will 
keep this in mind. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

I. J.N. Collection. 


203 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


7. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
9th June, 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

You were good enough to discuss with us possible arrangements as be- 
tween the Government of India and the States to deal with matters of 
common concern. 2 * I have given some more thought to this matter and 
consulted some colleagues. 

It seems to us that it is not merely necessary to have some of the 
Government of India’s representatives in the States and some of the 
States representatives in Delhi. What is important is to have some cen- 
tral Agency on behalf of the Government of India to deal with States 
problems in a uniform way. Not to have this will lead to confusion and 
chaos in administration. As I have pointed out to you there are innumer- 
able common problems as between the States and the Government of 
India. This has nothing to do with paramountcy and its offshoots. If the 
States correspond directly with each Department of the Government of 
India, there will be no uniformity of procedure or policy and conflicting 
decisions may well be arrived at, apart from the great increase in work 
of each Department. It is therefore desirable to have this common 
Agency or channel. 

The Political Department has thus far served as such a common 
Agency. The proper course would have been for this Department to 
continue for 4 the time being minus its paramountcy functions and for the 
Department to be put directly under the Government of India. It would 
also have been desirable for the local Agencies of the Political Depart- 
ment in the States to continue for the time being as Agents of the Gov- 
ernment of India and not for purposes of paramountcy. 

If this is not possible, then it is necessary to create a new Agency im- 
mediately. The Department dealing with matters of common concern be- 
tween the Indian States and the Government of India should be created 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 205-207. 

2. At his seventeenth miscellaneous meeting, Mountbatten said that he intended to 

send a letter to all the States asking for their concurrence that there should 

be an over-all standstill order on all existing agreements after the transfer of 
power until it was possible to frame new agreements or confirm the existing 
ones; and asking them to inform him whether they would send representa- 
tives to the new capitals of the Dominions or would prefer that the Dominions 
should set up representation in the States. There was general agreement on 
this. 


204 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


and put in charge of a Secretary who should function under some Mem- 
ber of Government. Correspondence dealing with Indian States and the 
Government of India should be pooled in the Secretariat of this Depart- 
ment, a common policy pursued v/ith the concurrence of the Member in 
charge, and particular cases could be referred to the various Departments 
of the Government of India. 

The main functions of this Secretariat should be — 

(a) Arrangements in substitution of existing ones for dealing with 
Agency functions discharged on behalf of the Government ot 
India by the Political Department and its officers. 

(b) Negotiations for reviewing — 

fi) economic and financial agreements; and 
(ii) steps to- be taken to systematise the political relationship be- 
tween Indian States and the Government of India until their 
entry into the Federation. 

All this relates to the present period, that is from now onwards to the 
establishment of Dominion Status. The second period will be from Domi- 
nion Status to the functioning of the new constitution. It will be necessary 
to make some additional arrangements then. Probably it might be desir- 
able to have a Minister in the Dominion Cabinet in charge of Indian 
States afTairs assisted by Advisers from Indian States. 

This is a brief indication of what I think should be done very soon in 
order to provide for a smooth changeover from present conditions and in 
order to give effect to the policy you have enunciated in regard to the 
States. This does not involve any radical change but only provides ma- 
chinery for carrying on present arrangements and for consideration of 
possible changes. We must have, as is generally agreed, standstill agree- 
ments with the States till such time as new agreements have been made. 
Meanwhile even though standstill agreements require some central ma- 
chinery to function and to start negotiations for review of those agree- 
ments, you were good enough to say to the States that you would be glad 
to put them into contact with the appropriate authorities of the Govern- 
ment of India for the purpose of enabling them to establish new relations 
with the latter. The machinery I suggest would enable this to be done. 

The Political Department, it is said, will be wound up by the 15th 
August. Meanwhile it will gradually liquidate itself. There will be a 
period from now onwards when there might be some overlapping be- 
tween the new Department, of the Government of India that I suggest and 
the Political Department. This need not lead to any confusion or trouble. 
Indeed the proper course would be for part of the staff of the Political 


205 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

Department to be transferred to the new Department and for the Political 
Department to give every assistance to the new Department in supplying 
information and advice. 

As I have said above, all this does not relate to paramountcy func- 
tions, but to matters of common concern between the Government of 
India and the States. The new Department will gradually take over all 
the correspondence between the Indian States and the Government of 
India. The States should be requested to deal directly with this Depart- 
ment and not with each separate Department of the Government of India 

Following up the same procedure, local officers of the Political De- 
partment in the States should deal more and more with this new De- 
partment of the Government of India. Even if the Residents leave, 
those offices should continue for the time being under some junior 
officer. This will maintain a continuity of work and can lead easily to 
the new arrangements that might be arrived at without any hiatus. The 
States can have no objection to this as this does not involve any decision 
of policy in regard to their future, but gives facilities to them to deal 
with the Government of India. I know as a fact that many States would 
welcome this procedure. I sec no way for the Government of India 
escaping this responsibility and burden. If no arrangements such as sug- 
gested above are made now, the result will necessarily be delay and 
confusion. In any event the Government of India will have to set up 
some such Department and the sooner it is done the better . 3 

The necessary consequence of what I have suggested above is to sus- 
pend various activities that are going on to liquidate the work of the 
Political Department in the Residencies. I would point out again that 
these activities concern the Government of India intimately. No steps 
should be taken without consultation with the Government of India. No 
property belonging to the Government of India should be disposed of 
without its prior concurrence. The present staff and equipment, except 
for some senior officers, should continue till fresh arrangements have 
been made. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


3. Mountbatten replied on 10 June 1947, “Since the Pakistan Government will 
be equally concerned in the case of such States as decide to join them, I feel 
this matter can only be properly discussed at a further meeting of the leaders.” 
A meeting was called on 13 June to consider this. 


206 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


8. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
9th June, 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

T am writing to you separately about a proposal to set up immediately a 
Department of the Government of India to deal with matters of common 
concern with the States. 2 This has become a matter of extreme urgency 
because changes are taking place from day to day which will come in 
the way of any future arrangements that may be made with the States. I 
have repeatedly pointed out to you and previously to Lord Wavell, that 
the Political Department is functioning without any consultation with the 
Government of India, although the Government of India is intimately 
concerned with all these matters. 

The special prerogative of the Crown Representative, as exercised 
through the Political Department, relates to paramountcy. The Govern- 
ment of India at present is not concerned with this question, but it is 
concerned with its numerous relations with the States. And it seems to 
us extraordinary and highly improper for the Political Department to 
continue to take various steps to liquidate itself and at the same time 
to liquidate all our relations with the States without reference to us. This 
is unconstitutional and many things are being done which might well 
be challenged in a' court of law. We think that by this method the Gov- 
ernment of India is being treated not only casually but with discourtesy. 

I should like to draw your particular attention to the property in the 
States belonging to the Government of India. There are numerous build- 
ings with their furniture, equipment, etc. Many of these buildings were 
built and furnished by the Government of India and belong completely 
to the Government of India. Some of the buildings were given by the 
States on a perpetual lease to the Government of India and were furnish- 
ed by us. Some buildings have been lent by the States. It is also under- 
stood that some of this property has been vested in the Crown Represen- 
tative. What exactly is the legal significance of this vesting in the Crown 
Representative has to be enquired into. But it seems to me that the right 
of the Government of India in this property cannot be extinguished in 

this way. 

This property in the States is of various kinds and may have to be 
dealt with in different ways. No part of it is at the disposal of the Politi- 


1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 208-209. 

2. See the preceding item. 


207 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


cal Department to do what it chooses. At the most the legal position in 
regard to part of this property requires further consideration. 

I understand that it is proposed by the Political Department to oiler 
certain properties to the States Governments and only in the case of their 
refusal to take them, to dispose of them otherwise. This question of offer 
to the States does not arise till the matter has been settled with the Gov- 
ernment of India which either owns the buildings and furniture or has a 
prior right to them. If the Government of India do not choose to keep 
this property or furniture, only then will the question arise of giving the 
first refusal to the States. I do not think that the Government of India 
should part with any property, furniture or equipment either owned by 
us or leased to us because we are likely to require them for our own 
purposes in the future. What the Government of India may do with them 
later ?s a matter for them to take up with the States. The Political Depart- 
ment cannot! settle it over the heads of the Government of India. 

I shall therefore request you to issue directions that no property of any 
kind owned or possessed under lease by the Political Department can be 
sold, transferred or handed over to any authority other than the Govern- 
ment of India. I am quite sure that if any such action is taken it will give 
rise to serious complications, for the Government of India will not accept 
it or agree to it. 

It is proposed, I understand, to hand over certain cantonment areas in 
the States to the States Governments. I would suggest that this matter 
should also be considered with the Government of India before any 
action is taken. Isolated action is not desirable. In any event the Govern- 
ment of India’s property in these areas, which might be receded, will 
continue to belong to the Government of India and will not be given up 
to the States, though I understand that in the past this has sometimes been 
done. The Political Department has a reputation of acting completely 
irresponsibly and has acted in such a manner in the past. There is no 
reason why it should be permitted to do so while it is in process of liqui- 
dation. It cannot be vicariously generous at the Government of India’s 
expense. 

What I have written above applies to records also and to the staffs of 
the various Residencies and Agencies. The Political Department is func- 
tioning with unseemly hurry to present us with accomplished facts. No 
amount of protests from us during the past few months seems to have 
had any effect on it. I would beg of you to stop this process before 
irreparable harm is done. 

In view of the problems raised in regard to property, buildings, furni- 
ture, records and staff. I think it is desirable that some representative of 
the Government, preferably of the W.M.P. or of Home Departments, 


208 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


should visit immediately these Residencies and inspect the buildings, 
records, etc. and' report on them. I shall be grateful if you will kindly let 
me know if we may proceed to do so immediately. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


9. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
9 June 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

I enclose a note by Sir Alladi Krishnaswami Iyer on Paramountcy and the 
States. 2 Sir Alladi is one of our most eminent lawyers and jurists. He has 
written this note for publication. But on seeing it I thought it might in- 
terest you. 

2. There is an article on the same subject by Mr. C. Rajagopalachari 
in today’s Hindustan Times. 2 In case your attention has not been drawn 
to it, 1 am enclosing a cutting. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. The Transfer of{ Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, p. 210. 

2. In his note Iyer had concluded: . .there are only two courses open to the 

Indian States at the present juncture — to enter Into constitutional relationship 
with the Indian Union and become integral parts of the Indian Union or to 
enter into quasi-constitutional relationship of the nature of paramountcy with 
the Indian Union. There is no tertium quid possible.” 

3. In his article Paramountcy Cannot End, Rajagopalachari had argued: “The 
public law of India had always some form of paramountcy in operation. The 
British power in India did not manufacture it out of nothing. Nor can it 
disappear with British power in respect of States which do not choose to 
accede.” So it should be an obligatory duty on the British to prevent declara- 
tions of independence on the part of Indian States by every legitimate means. 


10. To Baldev Singh 1 

New Delhi 
10th June, 1947 

My dear Baldev Singh, 

The file dealing with the retrocession of jurisdiction over cantonments in 

1. J.N. Collection. 


209 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


Indian States was sent to me for my information. I have read your notes 
on this file and I entirely agree with you that this question of retrocession 
is a part of the larger issue, namely, the future relationship of the States 
with the Indian Union. 

As a matter of fact since you wrote that note, other developments have 
taken place, and the future position of the States is rather uncertain. This 
applies more particularly to Hyderabad and Mysore. We cannot possibly 
hand over possession of these areas till we know what the future of the 
State will be and what our own relation to it will be. Generally speaking 
we have to come to a standstill agreement, that is to say that our treaties 
and arrangements with the States continue for the present and till they 
are changed. You will remember that the Viceroy mentioned this to us 
and we agreed. A consequence of this standstill agreement should be 
and is that there should be no retrocession of any of these cantonment 
areas till further arrangements are made. 

In a note on the file by the Defence Secretary dated 2.5.47 it is stated 
that the reason for agreeing to this retrocession now is that it would 
put the States in a good mood for negotiations. I do not understand this 
argument at all. They will be in a much better mood for negotiations if 
we do not agree to this retrocession now. If we give in to them on vari- 
ous important matters now, what will we negotiate about? 

Another remark in the Defence Secretary’s note seems to me very odd. 
He says that “If we hang on to jurisdiction until June 1948, we shall then 
automatically lose all our rights and the States will be in a position, if 
such is their mood, to take over all the buildings without payment of 
compensation.” 

This is a strange law. Mr. Dundas seems to imagine that almost every- 
thing will depend on the mood of a particular Ruler. As a matter of fact 
in no event is a scrap of property belonging to us going to be handed 
over to the Ruler without adequate compensation. It does not make any 
difference whether paramountcy has ceased to exist or not. 

I hope you will make it perfectly clear in all such cases that might 
arise that no further step is going to be taken in changing our own arran- 
gements and agreements till the larger issue has been cleared up. Mean- 
while the standstill agreement will continue. We shall hold on to every 
area and property in the States that we possess at present. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


210 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


11. Mountbatten's Record of Interview with Nehru, Patel and 
Kripalani 1 


♦ 


* 


* 


* 


I emphasised that H.M.G. had formally decided to stand by their state- 
ment of May 12th, 1946, with regard to the States 2 and that I was tied 
by the policy set down therein. Pandit Nehru* put forward the view that 
the May 12th statement was an integral part of the Cabinet Mission’s 
plan as a whole; but I pointed out that it had been specifically antedated 
so that, in the event of rejection of the Cabinet Mission’s plan of May 
16th, it should stand by itself. 

Pandit Nehru declared that he entirely disagreed with the idea of com- 
plete independence for the States. They had never had an independent 
existence before. He advised me to read Mr. Edward Thompson’s History 
of the Indian States . With regard to Hyderabad, he said that this State had 
grown up through treachery and had always been in the wake of the 
victors to gather the spoils. The States had come into the Government 
of India system before the Crown had. 

I explained that, from conversations with representatives of the States, 
I had got the impression that the reason why some of them had not 
yet joined the Constituent Assembly was because they feared that there 
would be a much tighter Centre under the existing plan than under the 
Cabinet Mission’s plan. Sardar Patel stated that, so far as the States 
were concerned, the Centre would only be strengthened with their con- 
sent. He further said that he thought that I was much mistaken in think- 
ing that the States were moving towards more representative Govern- 
ment. When I disagreed with this, Pandit Nehru flared up and said that 
he challenged, from the highest constitutional basis, the idea that any 
Ruler could decide himself whether or not to join the Constituent Assem- 
bly. He said, “I will encourage rebellion in all States that go against us. ’ 


1 . 

2 . 


10 June 1947. Extracts. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 232-235. 
The 12 May memorandum had assured the Princes that paramountcy would 
remain in operation during the “interim period”, but it would be necessary 
for the States to negotiate with British India during this period for the future 
regulation of matters of common concern, and also to come to an under- 
standing with the “succession Government or Governments” for the continu- 
ance of the existing arrangements as such negotiations were likely to occupy 
a considerable period of time.” The statement of 3 June 1947 shortened the 
“interim period” to a few weeks. 


211 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NETIRU 


* * * * 

About the suggestion that each Boundary Commission should consist 
of three persons obtained through U.N.O. plus three expert assessors, 
Pandit Nehru at first seemed doubtful. He felt that much delay would 
be involved, but when I pointed out that we could telegraph off to 
U.N.O. straightaway and get the chosen representatives flown to India, 
he said that he would further consider the matter and let me know his 
views. 


* * * * 

I asked Pandit Nehru to send me in the Congress suggestions for the 
terms of reference for the two Boundary Commissions and this he agreed 
to do. He agreed that the basic principle should be a majority population 
basis. 

* * * * 

Pandit Nehru said that he was opposed to the principle of popula- 
tion transfers. He considered that one of the secondary factors to be 
taken into account should be religious questions. It was impossible to 
transfer holy places. The canal regions were another important consi- 
deration. The Sikhs had built up this area largely by their own work. 
He had discussed this question with the Governor of the Punjab 3 and 
they had agreed that it would be essential to have a Joint Irrigation 
Board. I said that 1 agreed with this suggestion. Both sides would stand 
to gain by it ... . 

* * * * 

Pandit Nehru said that he would let jxic have his opinion on the sug- 
gestion that the Chairman of the Arbitral Tribunal should be a member 
of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. 

* * ♦ * 


3. On 30 May 1947 Nehru went round the riot-afTected areas, accompanied by 
P.N. Thapar, Commissioner, Lahore Division, Gopi Chand Bhargava, Bhimsen 
Sachar and Dewan Chaman Lai. He also had an 80-minute interview with 
Evan Jenkins, the Governor of the Punjab. 


212 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


12. Misfeasance of the Political Department 1 


Pandit Nehru said that, before considering the various papers which had 
been circulated, he wished to point out that this was the first time that 
Members of the Interim Government had had the privilege of being 
invited to discussions concerning the States. 

At Pandit Nehru’s request, the Viceroy explained that the Political 
Department had, until the Government of India Act 1935 came into 
operation, worked under the Govemor-General-in-Council. Under that 
Act, however, the functions formerly exercised by the Governor-Gen- 
eral-in-Council in relation to States were separated and allotted to the 
Crown Representative. The Viceroy stated that his instructions were that 
paramountcy should lapse not later than the date on which the transfer 
of power took place. The lapse of paramountcy would automatically in- 
volve the closing down of the Political Department. 

Pandit Nehru said that, as he understood it, all other functions of the 
Political Department except paramountcy had continued, despite the 1935 
Act, to be exercised under the Govemor-General-in-Council. Sir Conrad 
Corfield said that all functions connected with the States were exercised 
by the Crown Representative. Pandit Nehru said that, whereas he accept- 
ed the position with regard to the lapse of paramountcy at present, surely 
all the other matters with which the Crown Representative and the Politi- 
cal Department had to deal were Government of India matters and would 
continue. Sir Conrad Corfield stated that no such clear division could 
bq made. From the point of view of the Central Government the object 
of the liaison functions of the Crown Representative was that States 
should not prejudice all-India interests. The procedure was for the Crown 
Representative to consult the various Departments of the Government 
of India and to use the paramountcy power to ensure that States did not 
take any detrimental action .... 

Pandit Nehru said that he had consulted many eminent lawyers about 
this matter, and his point was that at the least it was a highly controver- 
sial one. He asked what right the Political Department had to go ahead 
in taking aetjon that was highly injurious to the Government of India. 
He had been writing letters on this subject for four months. He and his 
colleagues had not (until now) been shown the common courtesy of being 
brought into consultations. Completely unilateral action had been taken 


1 Minutes of the Viceroy’s eighteenth miscellaneous meeting. 13 June1 ^ 47 ' 
The Transfer of Power 1942-7. Vol. 11, pp. 320-326. Extracts Besides Nehru, 
Mountbatten and his staff, Patel, Kripalani, Jinnah, Liaquat Alt Khan, Abdur 
Rab Nishtar and Baldev Singh were also present in the meeting. 


213 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


continuously. Pandit Nehru said that he charged the Political Department 
and Sir Conrad Corfield with misfeasance. He considered that an imme- 
diate enquiry on the highest judicial level into their actions was necessary. 

Sir Conrad Corfield said that he wished to point out that in every- 
thing he had acted under the instructions of the Crown Representative 
with the approval of the Secretary of State. The Viceroy said that, from 
his experience, what Sir Conrad had said was absolutely correct. He went 
on to say that he had invariably carefully considered the points put for- 
ward by Pandit Nehru in his various letters, and taken action on them. 
For example, Pandit Nehru had complained that the Political Department 
never consulted the Government of India. As a result of that, he had 
arranged for Sir Conrad Corfield to go and see Pandit Nehru. 

Pandit Nehru said that he alone was not the Government of India. He 
was talking not only of himself, but of his colleagues too. A stage w r as 
now being reached at which very serious consequences were threatened. 
He pointed. out that His Majesty’s Government’s statement of 3rd June 
referred back to the memorandum of the Cabinet Mission dated 12th 
May, 1946. He said that he accepted these documents as they were, but 
in his opinion the policy of the Political Department had been contrary 
to them. 

The Viceroy said that, on his arrival, Lord Wavell had informed him 
that the Political Department had been acting strictly in accordance with 
the memorandum of 12th May. Sir Conrad Corfield confirmed that this 
had been done. Every item of the programme of the Political Department 
had been based on this memorandum. There was continual consultation 
with the Departments of the Government of India. Full details had been 
afforded to the Government at inter-Departmental conferences. There had 
continually been full liaison. 

Pandit Nehru said that it was one thing to deal with a Department on 
a specific matter. The wider policy was quite another question. There 
were many rights and obligations apart from paramountcy. To deal with 
each Department separately concerning these would produce administra- 
tive chaos. 

Pandit Nehru said that he fully admitted the principle that any States 
could, if they so wished, join the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. But 
there was no trace in the Cabinet Mission's memorandum of any State 
being allowed to claim independence. 

Sir Conrad Corfield read out an extract of this memorandum which 
stated “The void will have to be filled, either by the States entering into 
a federal relationship with the successor Government or Governments in 
British India, or failing this, entering into particular political arrangements 
with it or them.” 


214 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


Pandit Nehru said that in his opinion this did not signify the possibi- 
lity of States becoming independent. Sir Conrad Corfield said that in his 
opinion the term “particular political arrangements’' implied relations 
with autonomous units. 

Mr. Jinnah said that in his view the States were fully entitled to say 
that they would join neither Constituent Assembly. Every Indian State 
was a sovereign State. Pandit Nehru said that he differed altogether. He 
spoke as a lawyer. Mr. Jinnah said that he spoke as a lawyer also. Pandit 
Nehru suggested that the opinion of the Federal Court on this point 
should be obtained. 

Mr. Jinnah reiterated that in his opinion Indian States were sovereign 
States for every purpose except in so far as they had entered into trea- 
ties with the Crown .... 

Pandit Nehru asked what were the tests of sovereignty? One was the 
capacity for international relations. The States had no such capacity. 
Another was the capacity for declaring war. The States had no such 
capacity. There were 562 States. Of this number there might perhaps be 
a few which could claim semi-sovereignty, but no more. The significance 
of every treaty would have to be examined. It was impossible, in his 
opinion, to plan any general order. The Political Department had been 
run by money provided by the Government of India. Tributes ob-.ained 
from States had not been sufficient to pay for this. 

Pandit Nehru then read out several extracts from the Cabinet Mis- 
sion’s memorandum. He said that, in his opinion, the whole background 
of this statement was that the States should enter ;ue structure of one 
or other Government. 

Mr. Jinnah reiterated his view that the Cabinet Mission had never 
laid down that every State was bound to come into one or other Con- 
stituent Assembly. They were free to decide themselves, but there were 
many matters which would require adjustments .... 

Pandit Nehru said that he entirely agreed with this. He said that he 
was not intending to lay down that every State must join one or other 
Constituent Assembly; but if they did not come in, they would have to 
come to some other arrangement. Such other arrangements could not 
and should not be preceded by declarations of independence. The Viceroy 
said that he did not consider that the proposals put forward in the pa- 
pers before the meeting violated Pandit Nehru’s point. In fact, they were 
intended to secure his object. 

It was with this in mind that he had arranged for a paper on the 
machinery for dealing with questions of common concern between the 
States and the successor Governments in British India to be written. This 


215 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


paper proposed two alternatives — that the States should be given the 
option of: — 

(a) Dealing with local representatives of the successor Governments, 
or 

(b) Appointing their own representatives to the headquarters of the 
successor Governments. 

Pandit Nehru said that he considered that these suggestions proceeded 
from a wrong basis. Neither was a good idea. Present arrangements 
should continue. 

To have representatives of the States at capitals would lead to very 
considerable delays. He did not understand how H.M.G. could give a 
ruling in which the Government of India had not even been consulted. 
This ruling did not flow from the statement of 12th May. 

The Agents of the Government of India should continue in operation 
until they were withdrawn. The lapse of paramountcy should not lead to 
independence. Only certain functions would cease to be exercised. Others 
would remain. It was essential to have a Department to continue to 
deal with the States. He suggested that the Political Department and the 
Residents should continue to function. The political and administrative 
aspects should continue in operation. The choice of what machinery 
should be set up lay with the Government of India. 2 If any State took 
up a line of opposition to the policy of the Central Government, this 
would be considered as an unfriendly act, and all the privileges which 
those States enjoyed would cease. 

A second letter to Residents, covering a draft formula for standstill 
arrangements when paramountcy lapsed, was then handed round. 3 It 
was agreed that the schedule attached to the draft formula should be 
amended to cover matters of common concern not specifically mention- 
ed. 4 Pandit Nehru said that he had not yet had time to analyse this draft 
formula. He had discussed it in the early hours of that morning with 

2. It was agreed that it would be advantageous if a new Department, possibly 
called the States Department”, was set up and divided into two sections, 
ready for the partition of the country. 

3. The object of the formula was that the “existing administrative arrangements 
of mutual benefit to the people of the States and to the people of the rest 
of India should continue in force” while negotiations for new or modified 
arrangements were in progress. For the text of the formula see The Transfer 
of Power , Vol. 11, pp. 385-386. 

4. Among the 15 subjects specially mentioned in the schedule as matters of 
common concern were air communications, currency and coinage, posts, 
telegraphs and telephones, railways, taxation and wireless. As a result of 
the amendment item No. 16 was added to the schedule which read: “Any 
other subject involving matters of common concern.” 


216 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


lawyers, who had raised many points of difficulty. He doubted whether 
the description that it covered only “administrative” arrangements was 
correct. Mr. Jinnah gave his view that this was correct. 2 * * 

The next paper considered concerned the disposal of the Crown Re- 
presentative’s records. . . . Pandit Nehru said that he thought that, with- 
out doubt, the majority of the records were of concern to the Govern- 
ment of India. He considered that there should be a committee of histo- 
rians and others to look into the whole question. He could see no reason 
for rushing the destruction. 6 

* * * * 

Pandit Nehru said that he was speaking as a representative of the 
people of the States. Mr. Jinnah said that he challenged Pandit Nehru’s 
right to do so. Pandit Nehru reiterated that he spoke for the people. 
He dealt with the Rulers but would not forget the people. 

5. It was agreed that “the Indian leaders should give further consideration to 
this Draft Standstill Formula” and that there should be a meeting between 
the Indian leaders and representatives of the States to consider it. 

6. It was agreed, among other things, that the Political Adviser should apply 
to the Member for Education for the services of experts to assist in the 
weeding and sorting of the Crown Representative’s records and that there 
should be no more destruction of these records. 


13. Indian States and British Paramountcy 1 


Friends and Comrades, 

We will not recognize independence of any State in India. Further, an\ 
recognition of such independence by any foreign Power will be consi- 
dered as an unfriendly act. 

There is a great deal of talk about independence and paramountcy. 
Independence does not depend on a mere declaration by anybody but 
on various factors— foreign relations, defence, etc. It fundamentally de- 
pends on the acknowledgement by other parties of that independence. 


1 Speech at the A.I.C.C. meeting. New Delhi, 15 June 1947. The Hindustan 

Times 16 June 1947. Nehru was speaking on the Congress resolution repudiat- 

ing the right of any State to declare itself independent and to livd in isolation 

from the rest of India. The resolution was passed unanimously. 


217 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


The paramountcy of the British Crown arose in India under certain 
circumstances. I need not go into the history of it but it depends on 
geography, on history and all manner of factors like defence, security 
etc. If that paramountcy of the British Crown is withdrawn, as they say 
it is going to be withdrawn, what follows? So far as we arc concerned, 
we do not agree with the doctrine of paramountcy as it has been declared, 
especially during the last few years by the British Government. 

You will remember that this business of a Crown Representative came 
into existence only a dozen years ago. Paramountcy has been exercised 
ever 4 since the British became! a leading power in India, first by the East 
India Company and then later by the Government of India that succeeded 
it. No doubt the Crown was behind it. There was no division in the Gov- 
ernment of India as between that part which dealt with the Indian States 
and that part which dealt with the rest of India. The whole of the Gov- 
ernment of India dealt with the Indian States. This distinction came in 
only a dozen years ago with the Act of 1935. 

When there was some talk of a federation in India, the Butler Com- 
mittee and others began to- talk of paramountcy vesting in the Crown so 
that it is a new thing. We did not agree with that but I am not going 
into that question now. 

In so far as paramountcy may vest in the British Crown, if the British 
Crown ceases to exercise it, it lapses, or, if you like, it returns to the States. 
But there is a certain inherent paramountcy in the Government of India 
which cannot lapse — an inherent paramountcy in the dominant State in 
India, which must remain because of the very reasons of geography, his- 
tory, defence, etc., which gave rise to it when the British became the 
dominant power in India. If anybody thinks that it lapses, then those very 
persons will give rise, to it again. 

Paramountcy must exist, foi 4 the only alternative to it is that the various 
States in India should, in groups or otherwise, join the Indian Union. 
Then, of course, there is no question of paramountcy because presumably 
they may join as autonomous and equal units in that Union and share 
equally in the Union Legislature and the Union Executive. Presuming 
of course that those units are proper units, economic units, big units fit 
to be units of the Federation, they may have the same position in the 
Federation as any other unii like a province. Probably, in the indepen- 
dent Indian Union, there will be no distinction between a province as 
such and an Indian State as such but all will be States of the Union or 
whatever name may be given to them so that over all those who are equal 
members of the Union, no question of paramountcy arises. 

For those who do not join the Union the question of paramountcy 
inevitably arises, because they cannot live in a void. 


218 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


In the British Government’s declaration of May 16, it was clearly laid 
down that the Indian Union would consist of the provinces and the States. 
It was not envisaged that any State could be outside the Union, though 
it is true that a State was given a certain power, or a certain freedom, 
to decide how to come in. But it was not envisaged that it could keep 
out ultimately. In the memorandum of May 12 it was stated clearly that 
the States should either join the Indian Union — that was the primary 
thing — or if they did not do so, they must come to some other arrange- 
ment with the Union. There is no third way out of the situation, third 
way meaning independence or special relations with a foreign power. 

If a State did not join the Union, its relationship with the Union — and 
there would have to be some relationship — would be not one of equality 
but slightly lower. The relationship between the two would be that of a 
certain suzerain power exercising a certain measure of paramountcy and 
a certain other State having autonomy but within the limitations of para- 
mountcy and suzerainty. 

We desire no suzerainty or paramountcy. We want freedom for all the 
people of India but it may be that for a particular period, the interim 
period before other arrangements can be made and before some of the 
States can come into the Union, we may carry on negotiations with them 
on a more or less standstill basis, all the existing arrangements continuing, 
because if the arrangements do not continue then there is chaos. Of course 
they will not continue if the States themselves may take up any aggressive 
attitude, and go beyond those arrangements. 

In no circumstances can. we admit the right of a State to any foreign 
contacts with any foreign State or, in regard to defence, the right of any 
independent authority to do what it would. All this is not because we 
wish to interfere with the States — of course we wish the people of the 
States well — but for another and fundamental reason, that these matters 
affect the security of India. Wc cannot permit anything to happen in 
India in any State which affects fundamentally the security of India, 
either in relation to defence arrangements or in relation to contacts with 
foreign Powers. 

Therefore I want this not only to be realized by the States but I want 
other countries and Powers to realize and appreciate the situation. I do 
not and cannot speak with the authority of the Government at the present 
moment on, this subject. Though I happen to be a member of the Gov- 
ernment, I cannot represent that Government on this subject at present. 
1 am quite sure that I do represent the views of the A.I.C.C. in this matter 
and if I have anything to do with the Government that is likely to come 
into existence two months hence and which will, I have no doubt, have 
the power and authority to make this declaration, I should like to say 


219 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


and other countries to know that we will not recognize any independence 
of any State in India. Further, that any recognition of any such indepen- 
dence by any foreign Power, whichever it may be and wherever it may 
be, will be considered an unfriendly act. 

The considerations of security and other factors which the Indian Union 
must have in every State in India cannot be overridden by any unilateral 
declaration of a State and, therefore, any foreign Power which takes an 
action on the basis of that unilateral declaration will be ignoring our 
special interests and doing an unfriendly act to us. I am quite sure that 
any Government of India that comes into existence two months later will 
feel that way and will act that way. 

The Congress made every effort in the last few months to come to a 
friendly settlement with the Princes and establish cordial relations with 
them. A number of States have joined the Constituent Assembly and 1 
invite others also to do so. The Congress has relations with the Rulers 
of the States and does not want to harm any of them but it cannot give 
up its fundamental principle that it is for the people of the States to decide 
the fate of their States. 

The principle of sovereignty off the people has been recognized by the 
U.N.O. Our own delegation to the U.N.O. stood by the principle of 
sovereignty of the people when the question of Italian colonies came up. 2 
Obviously, we could not enunciate one principle for the people of Tripoli 
and accept another for the people of India or the States. 

2. See Selected Works (Second Series), Vol. 1, pp. 492, 498 and 593-596. 


14. To Lord Mountbatten 1 


New Delhi 
16 June, 1947 


Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

At the meeting which you had with the political leaders last Friday, 2 it 
was agreed that it would be advantageous if the Government of India 
were to set up a new Department, possibly called the States Department, 
to deal with matters of common concern with the States. I attach, for 
your consideration, certain proposals regarding the constitution and func- 
tions of this Department. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7 , Vol. 11, pp. 461-462. 

2. See ante, item 12. 


220 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


ENCLOSURE 

1. The Political Department which, under the control of H.E. the 
Crown. Representative, now deals with the Indian States is in process of 
being wound up and will cease to exist from the date on which India 
and Pakistan become Dominions. But a whole complex of administrative 
and economic arrangements, at present in existence between what is now 
British India and the Indian States, must continue if certain essential 
services of common interest to the two Indian Dominions and the States 
are not to come to an abrupt and probably disastrous end. Indeed, even 
in the political field, specifically as regards external relations ond defence, 
the States must, until other arrangements are negotiated, continue, in 
relation to the successor Governments in British India, to enjoy the rights 
and to discharge the obligations which, in exercise of its paramountcy, the 
British Crown had conferred or imposed upon them. This content of 
paramountcy directly concerned the security of British India and must 
logically be preserved in the interests of those who will inherit, from the 
British Power, the responsibility to protect what is now known as British 
India against external aggression and internal commotion. 

2. To deal with the matters referred to in the preceding paragraph, 
the immediate creation of some Central machinery which would take the 
place of the Political Department a few weeks hence is essential. Steps 10 
this end cannot be delayed because the process of succession mus f take 
a little time. The new machinery, which must be a new Department of 
the present Government of India until the two Dominion Governments 
come into being, will gradually take over from the Political Department 
the appropriate records and some of its personnel. It will also, during 
the period of its coexistence with the* Political Department, endeavour to 
learn as much of the Political Department’s procedure and mode of 
operation as may be useful for its own operation after the Political 
Department ceases to function. 

3. The functions proposed for the new Department are: 

fl) To correspond, on behalf of the Government of India, with 
Indian States on all matters of common concern. Matters of 
special interest to individual Departments of the Government 
of India will be disposed of in consultation with them by the 
new Department. The alternative of allowing each Depart- 
ment of the Government of India to deal with the States will 
result in lack of coordination with all its attendant disadvan- 
tages. 


221 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

(2) To supervise the Agents whom, the Government of India may 
decide to maintain in certain States and to deal with any 
representatives whom the States may appoint to the head- 
quarters of the Government of India. 

(3) To follow up the negotiations initiated by the Political; Depart- 
ment between the Government of India and the States for the 
adjustment of matters of common interest and, where neces- 
sary, to initiate new negotiations for a similar purpose. 

(4) Generally to safeguard the interests of the Government of 
India in the States. 

4. During the pre-Dominion stage the Department should consist of 
one Secretary and one or possibly two Deputy Secretaries. The junior and 
subordinate staff should,, so far as possible, be drawn from the Political 
Department. Since both the future Dominions will be interested in the 
activities of the new Department its officers should be selected with due 
regard to this fact. 

5. The structure and composition of these Departments under the 
Dominion Governments of India and Pakistan should be left to be deter- 
mined by the two Governments. 


15. A Note on Kashmir 1 


The State consists of roughly three parts: Kashmir proper; Jammu; 
Ladakh, Baltistan, Skardu and Kargil. The last named are very sparsely 
populated and have a considerable number of Buddhists. Jammu is large- 
ly a continuation of the Punjab. 

2. Kashmir proper is a very definite cultural and linguistic unit with 
a very long history behind it. In the past it has been a very great centre 
of Buddhist and Sanskrit learning. The people of Kashmir, Hindu or 
Muslim, have probably more in common than Hindus and Muslims 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11. pp. 442-448. This note was sent to 
Mountbatten with a forwarding note on 17 June, “You asked me to send you 
a note on Kashmir and I promised to do so. I now enclose this note. 

I hope you will have a pleasant holiday in Kashmir and come back refreshed.” 


222 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


elsewhere in India. Their language is Kashmiri; their dress, food and 
social customs are more or less alike. There is extreme poverty all over 
Kashmir except for some landlords and State officials and merchants. 

3. In Kashmir proper Muslims form 92% of the population. In the 
whole State Muslims are 77% and Hindus 21%, the others being chiefly 
Sikhs and Buddhists. The following are the population figures: 


Jammu 


Muslims 

1,208,675 

61% 

Hindus 

772,760 

39% 

Kashmir 

Muslims 

1,589,488 

92% 

Hindus 

139,217 

7.8% 

Total Muslims in the State 

3,101,247 

77.11% 

Total Hindus in the State 

809,165 

21% 

Total Sikhs in the State 

65,903 


Total Buddhists in the State 

40,696 


Others 

4,605 


Total population 

4,021,616 



4. About fifteen years ago a popular movement arose in Kashmir 
State under the leadership of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, himself a 
Kashmiri educated at Aligarh University. This movement was very large- 
ly Muslim as the population itself was'largely Muslim. It took shape in 
the Muslim Conference. It was not, however, definitely communal. Sheikh 
Abdullah was arrested and imprisoned and later communal riots broke 
out in Kashmir. This was in the early thirties. This was followed by com- 
mittees to inquire into political reforms that might be granted to the 
people. Certain reforms were granted and a legislature was started. 2 

2. In 1933, on the recommendation of the B.J. Glancy Commission, freedom 
of the press was conceded by the Maharaja and in 1934 a legislative assembly 
known as the Praja Sabha, elected on a narrow and limited franchise and having 
only recommendatory powers, was constituted. In 1939 it was made a more 
representative body. In 1944 two ministers were nominated from a panel of 
six names suggested by the Sabha. With the appointment of Ram Chandra 
Kak, a Kashmiri, as Prime Minister in June 1945 the practice of recruiting 
Prime Ministers from British India ended. 


223 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


5. Sheikh Abdullah, on coming out of prison, tried to give a definitely 
nationalist turn to the movement and changed the name of the Muslim 
Conference to the Kashmir National Conference. He had some trouble 
with communalists in his ranks and a few* left him and the organization. 
But the movement continued to grow and spread especially to the masses 
who were principally Muslim. Many Hindu and Sikh young men were 
also attracted to the National Conference. Even those Hindus who did 
not join it were usually more or less friendly to it. 

6. Of all the people’s movements in the various States in India, the 
Kashmir National Conference was far the most widespread and popular. 
Sheikh Abdullah was amazingly popular among the masses and numer- 
ous songs and legends grew up about him. Certain reactionary Hindu 
and Muslim groups opposed him and his movement. These Muslim 
groups later allied themselves to the Muslim League, but they had little 
influence in the State. The Hindu groups represented a certain vested and 
middle-class element chiefly interested in the State service of which they 
had a dominant share. 

7. The Maharaja is a Dogra Rajput and his army consists almost 
entirely of Dogra Rajputs. Kashmiris, whether Hindu or Muslim, are 
excluded from it. This was a common grievance among all Kashmiris. 

8. The real background of the popular movement was economic. The 
terrible poverty of the people was contrasted not only with the enormous 
riches of the few but also with the potential resources of Kashmir State. 
The land system was out of date and oppressive, as well as partial to 
certain dominant classes. It was with this background that the popular 
movement grew up under Sheikh Abdullah. It demanded political reforms 
and responsible government. 

9. This movement allied itself to the all-India States people’s move- 
ment as represented by the All India States People’s Conference. This 
Conference, though an independent body, has been working in line with 
the National Congress. Sheikh Abdullah became a Vice-President of the 
all-India body and last year, while he was in prison, he was elected 
President. He is still the President not only of the Kashmir National Con- 
ference but also of the All India States People’s Conference. 

10. After the introduction of various reforms in Kashmir, Sheikh 
Abdullah and the Kashmir National Conference, though far from satisfi- 
ed with the extent of the reforms, decided to cooperate with them. 
They contested the elections for the State Assembly and won a large 


224 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


number of seats. 3 One of their number became a Minister. Members of 
their party delivered highly eulogistic speeches praising the Maharaja 
for what he had done and was doing, but at the same time demanding 
responsible government. Their objective was responsible government 
under the aegis of the Maharaja who would function as a kind of con- 
stitutional head. That also was the objective of the All India States 
People’s Conference in regard to all the States in India. 

11. The policy of the Kashmir National Conference was thus one of 
cooperation with the State authorities and more specially with the Maha- 
raja who was considered above conflict of parties. This attitude was, no 
doubt, partly governed by an expectation of favours to come. But there 
was certainly a fund of goodwill for the Maharaja and all criticism was 
directed to various Ministers. There was plenty of room for criticism, 
for the Kashmir administration for long years past has been amazingly 
static and unchanging. Nothing gets done there and any intelligent officer 
soon gets the feeling that he is wasting his talents and his energy because 
he can get nothing done. 

12. This period of semi-cooperation with the Kashmir State authori- 
ties even survived the upheaval in India of August 1942. The Kashmir 
National Conference sympathised with this upheaval and demonstrated 
accordingly. But the then Prime Minister, Sir N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar, 
refused to take any precipitate action, and the situation calmed down. 

13. There was a rapid change in Prime Minister. Within a few years 
there were four Prime Ministers. Meanwhile the Minister who represent- 
ed the Kashmir National Conference complained more and more that 
he had no responsible work to do and indeed that he could hardly ap- 
proach the Maharaja himself. Mr. Kak was throughout the Minister in 
attendance on the Maharaja and ultimately in 1945 he became Prime 
Minister. The National Conference supported him in this on the ground 
that he was a Kashmiri. Almost immediately after Mr. Kak became Prime 
Minister, there was a change in the attitude adopted towards the National 
Conference. This Conference represented the most powerful organization 
in the State with a very big mass following. It had drawn into its ranks 
most of the idealistic youth in the State, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh, and 
it was especially popular among the peasantry. Evidently Mr. Kak thought 
that this was too strong to be encouraged or tolerated and he began to 
encourage communal organisations both of the Muslims and the Hindus. 

3. In the first elections to the legislative assembly held in 1934, the Muslim 
Conference captured 19 out of 21 seats allotted to Muslims. 


225 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


14. Matters came to a crisis early in 1946 and the National Con- 
ference Minister resigned. Thus the period of cooperation between the 
National Conference and the State authorities ended and the situation 
became progressively more tense. 

15. When the Cabinet Mission came in 1946, great expectations 
were roused all over India including the States. There was considerable 
irritation at the fact that no representatives of the States people were 
interviewed by the Cabinet Mission. When it was known that the Cabi- 
net Mission would go to Kashmir for a few days, a telegram was sent 
on behalf of the Conference to them in which the slogan of “Quit Kash- 
mir” was used and the Amritsar Treaty, 4 according to which Kashmir 
was sold to the great grandfather of the present Ruler, was bitterly cri- 
ticised. Subsequently the “Quit Kashmir” cry was explained to mean noth- 
ing more than responsible Government under the aegis of the Maharaja. 

16. A big agitation began to grow up in Kashmir in support of the 
message sent to the Cabinet Mission. Within a few days, however, Sheikh 
Abdullah was invited by Nehru to Delhi to discuss the situation. Sheikh 
Abdullah thereupon stopped the agitation completely and said that nothing 
should be done till his return from Delhi. Four days later he started for 
Delhi and was arrested en route. At the same time large numbers of other 
arrests were made and the military practically took possession of the 
valley. It was clear, and indeed it was admitted by Mr. Kak, that he had 
long been making preparations to crush the National Conference. These 
preparations had nothing to do with the new phase of tho agitation and 
had preceded it. The “Quit Kashmir” cry gave Mr. Kak a pretext for quick 
and widespread action. 

17. This happened about 15 months ago and ever since then there 
has been a continuing conflict between the State authorities and the 
National Conference. Sheikh Abdullah and many of his colleagues have 
been in prison, most of them sentenced, others in detention. There has 
been repression of an extreme type and the people generally have suffer- 
ed very greatly, especially during the winter months when food and fuel 
were deliberately not distributed with fairness. The police and the mili- 
tary have fired at crowds and individuals repeatedly, killing many. 


4. By the Treaty of Amritsar, concluded on 16 March 1846, Ciulab Singh win 
made the Maharajah of Jammu and Kashmir State by the British on payment 
of Rs. 75 lakhs as indemnity. 


226 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


18. These events in Kashmir produced a powerful effect in other States 
in India and the All India States People’s Conference made Kashmir a 
test case. Probably to some extent some of the other Rulers also treated 
it in a like way from their point of view. It is widely believed with a 
great deal of justification that the Political Department gave its backing 
to this repressive policy of the State and encouraged it. 

19. Over a year has elapsed since this began and the result is that 
Sheikh Abdullah is probably more popular than ever with the masses of 
Kashmir. The Muslim League there has no particular following. Latterly 
even the communal Sikh and Hindu organisations have demanded Sheikh 
Abdullah’s release. It is said that the Dogra army also strongly disap- 
proves of Mr. Kak’s policy which has resulted in making the Maharaja 
completely ineffective and almost a prisoner in his palace. Corruption is 
rampant in the State and the whole administration, is centred in a small 
clique controlled by the Prime Minister. Almost everybody else complains 
bitterly of this clique and says that nothing can be done in Kashmir till 
Mr. Kak ceases to be Prime Minister. Even the Maharaja has begun to 
realise this and wants to do something about it. But Mr. Kak has so frigh- 
tened him and so isolated him that it is difficult for the Maharaja to take 
any step of his own volition. 

20. Kashmir has become during this past year an all-India question 
of great importance. It was only because of other developments in India 
and a desire to avoid adding to the existing troubles that an effort was 
made to prevent this spreading. 

21. Sheikh Abdullah’s organization, the Kashmir National Conference, 
has demonstrated its hold on the masses and there is no doubt that 
Sheikh Abdullah himself is by far the most outstanding leader in Kash- 
mir. Mr. Kak’s efforts to build up a rival leadership have not produced 
much effect. It is true, however, that Sheikh Abdullah’s long absence in 
prison has produced a certain confusion in people’s minds as to what 
they should do. The National Conference has stood for and still stands 
for Kashmir joining the Constituent Assembly of India. From the Maha- 
raja’s point of view this is obviously desirable and preferable to joining 
the other Assembly. Mr. Kak, however, comes in the way and it has been 
reported that he has told the Maharaja that the Viceroy favours Kashmir 
joining the Pakistan Assembly because of the geographical situation of 
the State. Mr. Kak has also tried to convince the Maharaja that as soon 
as he joins the Indian Union, there will be communal riots in the State 
and that possibly hostile people from the surrounding territory of Pakis- 
tan might enter Kashmir and give trouble. The Maharaja is timid and is 

227 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

in a fix. There is no doubt that if Mr. Kak remains in control, he will 
himself see to it that there are communal riots. 

22. The situation in Kashmir cannot be effectively met without major 
changes leading to responsible government in the State with the Maharaja 
as the constitutional head. Indeed there is no other way out and if this 
course is not adopted, the Maharaja’s position will become progressively 
more insecure. If, however, the Maharaja gives a lead in this direction 
by joining the Constituent Assembly of India and taking steps for reforms 
in the State, he would immediately put himself right with the people and 
gain the support of Sheikh Abdullah and the most powerful party in the 
State, which, though predominantlv Muslim, includes many Hindus and 
Sikhs. 

23. Before this can be done, the immediate steps that appear to be 
essential are the removal of Mr. Kak from the Prime Ministership, and the 
discharge of Sheikh Abdullah and his colleagues from prison. It has been 
said that there are other prisoners also who belong to the Muslim League. 
There is no reason why all such prisoners should not also be released. 
If any person misbehaves in future, action can be taken against him. 

24. Mr. Kak’s policy during the past year has caused tremendous in- 
jury to Kashmir and to the Maharaja. Unless this is completely reversed 
very soon, the Maharaja’s difficulties will become insurmountable and 
the only solution then will be by way of violent upheaval. In this upheaval 
the sympathy of nationalist India will not be with the Maharaja. Mr. 
Kak has succeeded in antagonising every decent element in Kashmir and 
in India as a whole. He has hardly any friend anywhere. 

25. It is interesting and important to note that Kashmir has kept out of 
communal troubles during a period when the rest of India has been full 
of them. This is a remarkable tribute to the policy of the National Con- 
ference and Sheikh Abdullah. During this period there is little doubt that 
Mr. Kak encouraged communal friction in order to weaken the politi- 
cal movement. Yet he did not succeed although the leaders of the popular 
movement were in prison. When Sheikh Abdullah comes out of prison, 
he will undoubtedly be able to control his people effectively and he will 
gladly cooperate with any real steps for the progress of Kashmir. 

26. Sheikh Abdullah’s wife, Begum Abdullah, has played a notable 
part during this past year in heartening the people of Kashmir and in 
giving relief to the vast numbers of sufferers there. Previously living 
mostly in purdah , she has come out and gone to her people. 


228 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


27. What happens to Kashmir is, of course, of the first importance to 
India as a whole not only because of the past year’s occurrences there, 
which have drawn attention to it, but also because of the great strategic 
importance of that frontier State. There is every element present there 
for rapid and peaceful progress in cooperation with India. Communalism 
has not vitiated the atmosphere as in other parts of India. The resources 
of the State are very great; but unhappily a wrong policy, carried through 
ruthlessly by a man without any scruple or long vision and with a great 
deal of personal ambition, has brought the State to the verge of ruin. 
There is almost complete unanimity today in Kashmir amongst all clas- 
ses and sections of the people that Mr. Kak should go. Where he can go 
to, it is difficult to say because he has made himself unacceptable every- 
where in India and more especially in Kashmir. But in any event he must 
be removed from his position of authority. The second immediate step 
that has to be taken is the release of Sheikh Abdullah as well as of other 
political prisoners. Obviously no conditions can be attached to this re- 
lease. When Sheikh Abdullah is released, he will, no doubt, take counsel 
with his colleagues in Kashmir and outside before any fresh step is 
taken. The National Congress is deeply interested in this matter and but 
for the urgency of other work, Nehru would have been in Kashmir long 
ago. He still thinks of going there soon. Gandhiji also intends going there 
before long. 

28. If any attempt is made to push Kashmir into the Pakistan Con- 
stituent Assembly, there is likely to be much trouble because the National 
Conference is not in favour of it and the Maharaja’s position would also 
become, very difficult. The normal and obvious course appears to be for 
Kashmir to join the Constituent Assembly of India. This will satisfy both 
the popular demand and the Maharaja’s wishes. It is absurd to think that 
Pakistan would create trouble if this happens. 


16. To Lord Ismay 1 

New Delhi 
19th June 1947 

Dear Lord Ismay, 

Thank you for your letter of the 16th June sending me a note by the 
Dominion Office on the structure of the British Commonwealth. 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 509-511. 

229 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAIIARLAL NEIIRU 


2. Thank you also for sending me a note on the decisions taken at the 
so-called Leaders’ Conference with the Viceroy when the States ques- 
tion was discussed. 2 

3. I am having the summary sent to the Cabinet Office about the for- 
mation of the States Department of the Government of India, as decided 
upon at that Conference. I hope this will take shape soon. 

4. We have been examining the draft “standstill” agreement between 
the Government of India and the States. 3 I have consulted in this matter 
the lawyers of the Government of India as well as some of our constitu- 
tional officers and we are preparing another, and probably briefer, 
draft 4 which I hope to send soon. This draft of ours will also, I hope, be 
circulated among the Rulers. The previous draft contained many lacunae. 

5. The position in regard to the States has become a very confused one, 
largely owing to various statements made on behalf of H.M.G. during 
last year without any reference whatever to us. The Leaders’ Conference 
the other day was the first occasion when we discussed the States ques- 
tion as between the Government of India and the Political Department. 
It seems to me essential that there should be clarity about this matter 
and that our views should be fully known, so that there might be no 
reason for misapprehension in the future. This is particularly important 
from the point of view of the parliamentary legislation that is being 
undertaken. I do not know if there is going to be any reference to the 
States in this parliamentary legislation. If there is such a reference I 
hope it is of the right kind and does not introduce unnecessary compli- 
cations. 

6. Also, that in the event of any answers being given in Parliament 
regarding the States in India, our point of view wiH be kept in mind. 

7. You will appreciate that it is of the highest importance to us that 
the States should fit in properly into the picture of India. It is bad 
enough that India has to be partitioned. It would be disastrous il this 
process went further and resulted in the “balkanisation” of the country. 

2. See ante, item 12. 

3. The preliminary draft of a standstill agreement between individual States 
and the two successor governments on the lapse of paramountcy was present- 
ed by the Secretary to the Crown Representative to* Residents on 14 June U t 
For the text see The Transfer of Power, Vol. 11, pp. 384-386. 

4. See post, item 24. 


230 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


That would certainly lead to conflict till some suitable equilibrium was 
arrived at. We might well have to go back a hundred years when the 
East India Company was consolidating its power in India and emerging 
as the dominant authority. 

8. I do not wish to challenge statements made on behalf of H.M.G. 
regarding the States, though I do wish to make it clear that some of 
these statements were unfortunate and not in line with the facts of the 
situation. Even accepting these statements, certain facts emerge. One is 
that it has been the firm intention of H.M.G. that the States should 
join the Union of India or one of the two Dominions. In case they do 
not become federal units of these Dominions, nevertheless, they are as- 
sociated with them in a number of ways. It is quite inconceivable that 
a State can become independent in the legal sense of the term, which 
means having external relations and the power to declare war or peace 
and controlling its defence and communications. That would be a chal- 
lenge to the security of India which the Indian Union could never agree 
to. If any foreign Power encouraged such independence of a State this 
can only be considered as an unfriendly act by the Indian Union. 

9. All this has little to do with paramountcy in the limited sense of 
the word. That paramountcy is not being transferred by the British Gov- 
ernment to an Indian Government, but the facts of geography cannot 
be ignored and the dominant power in India will necessarily exercise 
certain control over any State which does not choose to come into the 
Union. If a State comes into the Union, then it becomes an equal sharer 
in that dominant power’s position. If not, it has to function within cer- 
tain limitations. 

10. I am enclosing a note 5 on this subject which might help in clarify- 
ing the position. I would add that any trade pact between a State and a 
foreign Government would definitely affect our external relations. Foreign 
trade is essentially a part of foreign relations. Therefore, foreign trade 
must be conducted through, or with the concurrence of, the principal 
authority in India. I mention this specially, as it might be thought that 
trade is something apart from other relations. It is, in fact, intimately 
connected with the foreign relations of the country and it might well 
result in creating vested interests which affect the security and vital m- 
terests of that country. 

11. I trust that the States Department of the Government of India will 


5. See the following item. 


231 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


soon be constituted, so that it can deal with all these matters satisfactori- 
ly and uniformly. There has been enough delay already and further de- 
lay might lead to greater confusion. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


17. Paramountcy and the States 1 


In the memorandum on States’ Treaties and Paramountcy presented by 
the Cabinet Mission to His Highness the Chancellor of the Chamber of 
Princes on the 12th May, 1946, it was stated: 

(a) “During the interim period which must elapse before the com- 
ing into operation of a new constitutional structure under which 
British India will be independent or fully self-governing, Para- 
mountcy will remain in operation. But the British Government 
could not and will not in any circumstances transfer Paramountcy 
to an Indian Government.” (Para. 2 ) 

(b) “During the interim period it will be necessary for the States to 
conduct negotiations with British India in regard to the future 
regulation of matters of common concern, especially in the econo- 
mic and financial fields. Such negotiations, which will be neces- 
sary whether the States desire to participate in the new consti- 
tutional structure or not, will occupy a considerable period of 
time, and since some of these negotiations may well be incom- 
plete when the new structure comes into being, it will, in order 
to avoid administrative difficulties, be necessary to arrive at an 
understanding between the States and those likely to control the 
succession government or governments that for a period of time 
the then existing arrangements as to these matters of common 
concern should continue until the new agreements are completed. 
(Para. 4) 

(c) “When a new fully self-governing or independent government or 
governments come into being in British India, His Majesty s 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 511-513. This note was enclosed by 
Nehru to his letter to Lord Ismay dated 19 June 1947. The words in italics 
are underlined in the original. 


232 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


Government’s influence with these governments will not be such 
as to enable them to carry out the obligations of Paramountcy. 
Moreover, they cannot contemplate that British troops would be 
retained in India for this purpose. Thus, as a logical sequence 
and in view of the desires expressed to them on behalf of the 
Indian States, His Majesty’s Government will cease to exercise 
the powers of Paramountcy. This means that the rights of the 
States which flow from their relationship with the Crown will no 
longer exist and that all the rights surrendered by the States to 
the Paramount Power will return to the States < Political arrange- 
ments between the States on the one side and the British Crown 
and British India on the other will thus be brought to an end. 
The void will have to be filled either by the States entering into a 
federal relationship with the successor government or governments 
in British India , or, failing this, entering into particular political 
arrangements with it or them/ f (Para. 5). 

2. The plan announced by the Viceroy on June 3rd shortens the 
interim period referred to in extracts (a) and (b) to a few weeks. Con- 
tinuance, for a period of time, of the arrangements now existing as to 
the matters of common concern mentioned in extract (b) thus becomes 
a matter of urgent necessity. These matters, it may be noted, relate 
mainly to the economic and fiscal fields. A draft standstill agreement for 
this purpose has been prepared and circulated by the Political Depart- 
ment to the Indian States. But, as regards " political arrangements be- 
tween the States on the one side and the British Crown and British India 
on the other” which will be brought to an end when His Majesty’s Gov- 
ernment will cease to exercise the power of paramountcy* no action has 
been taken by the Political Department, although the extract in para. 1 
(c) recognises that this “void will have to be filled either by the States 
entering into a federal relationship with the successor government or 
governments in British India, or, failing this, entering into particular 
political arrangements with it or them.” 

3. Both with States which have joined the Constituent Assembly and 
those which have declared their intention not to join it, the Government 
of India are most anxious to arrive at a “regulation of matters of com- 
mon concern, especially in the economic and financial fields, and at 
particular political arrangements to take the place of paramountcy. But 
this desirable consummation cannot be achieved by the single will or 
effort of the Government of India. Unless the States show an equal desire 
for a mutually beneficial and honourable settlement, there may be a 


233 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


are interested in knowing what the Constituent Assembly has so far 
done in regard to the> States, I would suggest to you to take tho trouble 
to read the reports of the Constituent Assembly on the subject instead 
of getting your facts from an interested and prejudiced party. 

4. I think that all States in India should, for their own good, join the 
Constituent Assembly. But I really do not care very much whether every 
State joins or not because in any event the States will be affected by the 
establishment of a strong Indian Union. This fact cannot be ignored, and 
thus the choice for a State is limited. 

5. That choice, of course, must be in consonance with the people’s 
wishes. I understand that at your request the Indore Prajamandal has 
postponed its annual session for a month. Presumably you are going to 
make some announcement during this month. I trust that your decision 
regarding the Constituent Assembly will be made soon so that we may 
know definitely whether you are joining it or not and take action accord- 
ingly. As regards the internal structure of the State, it is clear, even 
according to the British Cabinet Mission’s memorandum, that represen- 
tative institutions, meaning thereby responsible government, should be 
established soon. 

I hope you are keeping well now. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


19. To P. Subbaroyan 1 

New Delhi 
21 June 1947 

My dear Subbaroyan, 

You will remember that I mentioned to you, when you were here, about 

Travancore. In view of the Travancore Government’s attitude 2 there is 

1. J.N. Collection. 

2. On 12 June 1947 declarations were issued in Hyderabad city and Trivandrum 
stating that both Hyderabad and Travancore would declare their indepen- 
dence on the lapse of paramountcy and would join neither of the Constituent 
Assemblies. On 21 June, the Travancore Government announced that it had 
been decided, as soon as paramountcy ended, to accredit a Travancorean 
representative to Pakistan and A.P. Pillai had been appointed a representative 
in New Delhi to negotiate “a temporary and standstill arrangement” between 
Hindustan and Travancore. 


236 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


no reason whatever why any kind of facility be offered to it by the 
Madras Government. This would apply especially to cases of extradition. 

I think we should make it clear whenever occasion arises that we are 
unable to cooperate with the Travancore Government, more especially in 
regard to any repression that it may indulge in. 

2. It is difficult for me to judge of the situation in Madras and in any 
event I should not like to interfere with your Government’s discretion. 
But in view of developments, it might be worthwhile for you to consider 
if you cannot tone down your policy in regard to keeping a consider- 
able number of Communists under detention. 3 I gather that the Com- 
munist Party is trying to change its general policy towards the Congress 
and the Congress Governments. 4 How far this would go, I do not know. 
But some change is certainly visible. In view of this, a gesture on your 
part might be a good policy. But it is for you to judge. 

3. I understand that one or two leading Communists are in prison* 
chiefly because of their doings in Travancore. Their cases might also be 
reconsidered. 

4. Some reports have reached us that the armed police in Malabar 
has been misbehaving and molesting women. This is worth inquiring 
into. 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


3. 


4. 


5. 


As a result of the rioting inspired by the Communists in several towns of the 
Madras State 550 workers of the party and trade union leaders were arrested 
In January 1947 the Madras government declared the party illegal in ha 

State and detained 160 more Communists. , 

The Communist Party of India abandoned its policy of revolutionary war and 
resolution passed in June 1947 offered support to the “national leader- 
ship in the proud task of building the Indian republic on ^">ocratic founda- 
tions” It also urged all progressive Congressmen to rally behind Nehru. 

ST N K. Krishnan E.M.S. N.mbood.nprf ««. k.p. 

in Vellore Jail under the Public Safety Act from January 1947. 


237 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


20. To Lord Mountbaiten 1 


New Delhi 
22 June 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Your attention must have been drawn to the various statements made by 
Sir C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar or on his behalf regarding Travancore. 2 He 
has declared that Travancore will be independent on the lapse of para- 
mountcy on the 15th August. This raises vital issues and any persever- 
ance on his part in this attitude and declaration will inevitably bring 
Travancore into conflict with the Government of India. 

2. He has nominated a representative of Travancore for Delhi. Nor- 
mally we would welcome any representative from any State and deal 
with him directly in order to facilitate business of common concern. 
But after the declarations made by Sir C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar, any re- 
cognition of his envoy here becomes undesirable and objectionable. 

3. In, today’s paper it is stated on behalf of the Travancore Govern- 
ment that “as a result of personal discussions and correspondence be- 
tween Mr. Jinnah and the Dcwan of Travancore, the Dominion of 
Pakistan, on its establishment, has agreed to receive a representative of 
Travancore and to establish relationship with the State which will be of 
mutual advantage”; further that in pursuance of this decision the Travan- 
core Government have nominated a certain person “as representative of 
Travancore State in the Dominion of Pakistan and he will take charge of 
his duties from the date on which paramountcy lapses and Travancore 
becomes independent.” 

4. This statement is extraordinary in many respects. There is no 
Dominion of Pakistan in existence and I am not aware of envoys being 
sent to a non-existent State. Normally two existing States confer together 
and come to an agreement about exchange of representatives. Apart 
from this, I take it that till paramountcy lapses, it is still functioning and 
any statements affecting paramountcy arc to be made only with the 
consent of the Political Department. I do not know if the various state- 
ments that Sir C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar has issued have been referred to 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 556-557. 

2. On 11 June 1947, C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar, Dewan of Travancore, announced 
the decision of Travancore State to declare itself independent on 15 August 
and appealed to the people to stand solidly behind the Maharaja. ITc described 
it as a matter of life and death. 


238 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


the Political Department and if that Department’s sanction or concur- 
rence has been obtained. If they have not been so referred, then I think 
it is not only a breach of decorum but also of the rules at present gov- 
erning the relationship of the States with the Paramount Power. 

5. The Dominion Government of India will, no doubt, deal with this 
matter. But meanwhile such statements are mischievous and harmful 
and I think that Sir C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar should be informed accord- 
ingly. 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


21. To the Maharaja of Bikaner 1 

New Delhi 
24 June 1947 

My dear Maharaja Saheb, 

During one of our talks in recent months you told me of the early steps 
you were going to take to introduce constitutional reforms leading to res- 
ponsible government within a fixed period. 2 I was happy to learn this 
from you and I had hoped that Bikaner State would give a lead to other 
States. 

2. I learn now that a large number of political prisoners, amounting to 
about 60, are still in prison or under detention. 3 Many of these have been 
in prison for a considerable time. There was, so far as I remember, some 
kind of a movement there against the enforcement of Section 144 about 
a year ago. That movement was withdrawn and it was hoped, and I be- 
lieve an assurance was also given, that the political prisoners would be 
released. 

1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. The Maharaja promulgated the Government of Bikaner Act, 1947, which in 
two years would lead to the establishment of responsible government under 
the aegis of the Ruler and would bring into existence a legislature of two 
Houses based on a wide and popular franchise; and the entire range of ad- 
ministration would be entrusted to a council responsible to the legislature 
with a few reservations. 

3. Since the Ruler’s reform^ declaration in August 1946, bans under Section 144 
had been continuously imposed and many people had been put into prison. 
The bans were removed only in the last week of June 1947. 


239 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

3. I am not very much interested in past history and perhaps all the 
facts have not been placed before me. But it does seem to me unfortunate 
that during this period of vital change and the end of an era in India, 
political prisoners should be kept in detention. I do earnestly hope that 
you will order their release and thus help in creating an atmosphere for 
the big changes that are coming soon. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


22. To K.M. Panikkar 1 


New Delhi 
24 June 1947 


My dear Panikkar, 

I received your letter of the 15th June. I appreciate what you have written 
and I hope that something will be done in regard to the matters referred 
to by you. 

2. I am writing to the Maharaja about the political prisoners still under 
detention in Bikaner. I am distressed by this fact and it is obvious that 
this kind of thing brings a certain discredit on all of us. At this parti- 
cular moment it is peculiarly inappropriate to keep political prisoners and 
I hope they will all be released. 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. Panikkar was at this time Prime Minister of Bikaner. 


23. To Lord Ismay 1 


New Delhi 
25th June 1947 


Dear Lord Ismay, 

I enclose three copies of our draft “standstill” agreement 2 applicable to 
the States. After much consideration we have decided to keep it as short 
as possible and to adhere to the previous draft. 


1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, p. 629. 

2. See the following item. 


240 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


I have added some notes on the clauses so as to explain their signifi- 
cance. 

May I suggest that this draft should also be circulated to all the people 
to whom the previous draft was sent, so that they may have full time 
to consider it? 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


24. Congress Draft of “Standstill” Agreement 1 2 


The “standstill” agreement should be on the following lines: 


Preamble 

Whereas it is expedient that certain existing relations and arrangements 
between the Indian States and the rest of India should, for their common 
benefit, continue in force while negotiations for new or modified relations 
and arrangements arc in progress between the authorities concerned. 
Now, therefore, it is agreed between the parties that: — 


1. No State shall be liable to pay any cash contribution falling due after 
in so far as it exceeds tne value of any privilege or im- 


munity which the State enjoys. 

2 Until otherwise provided by mutual agreement, a State shall be en- 
titled to the continuance of any privilege or immunity which it enjoyed 

immediately before , 3 provided that it continues duly to 

fulfil all conditions or reciprocal obligations attached to each such privilege 
or immunity. 


1. Enclosure to Nehru’s letter to Ismay dated 25 June 1947. TUc Transfer o, 

Power 1942-7, Vol. 11. mention d , on which Dominion Constitu- 

2&3. On the margin is written.^ Here mention 

tion comes into operation. 


241 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 
Explanation 

The term “cash contribution” 4 and “privilege or immunity” 5 in the 
above clauses have the meanings assigned to them in section 147 of 
the Government of India Act, 1935. 

3. (1) Until new agreements in this behalf are completed, all rela- 

tions and arrangements as to matters of common concern now 
existing between the Crown and any Indian State shall continue 
as between the appropriate successor Government and the State. 
(2) In particular, the matters referred to above shall include those 
specified in the Schedule annexed. 

4. Until otherwise provided by mutual agreement, the criminal, revenue 
and civil jurisdiction heretofore exercisable in any Indian State of class 
III as defined in para. 11 of the Indian States Committee’s Report 
1928-29, 6 by, or by persons acting under the authority of, the Crown Re- 
presentative shall hereafter be exercisable by, or by persons acting under 
the authority of, the appropriate successor Government. 

SCHEDULE 

1. Air Communications 

2. Arms and equipment 

3. Control of Commodities 

4. Currency and coinage 

5. Customs 

6. Defence 

7. External Affairs 

8. Extradition 

4. According to the Government of India Act, 1935, “Cash contributions” meant 
periodical contributions, in acknowledgement of the suzerainty of His Majesty; 
contributions fixed on the creation or restoration of a State; or formerly pay- 
able to another State but then payable to His Majesty by right of conquest, 
assignment or lapse. 

5. Privilege or immunity” meant rights, privileges or advantages in respect 
of the levying of sea-customs or the production and sale of untaxed salt; 
sums available in respect of surrender of the right to levy internal customs, 
duties; the annual value to the Ruler of any privilege or territory due to sur- 
render of any such right; privileges in respect of free service, stamps or free 
carriage of state mails on Government business; privilege of entry free and 
the right to issue currency notes. 

6. Paragraph 11 of the Indian States Committee Report of 1928-29 defined 
“Estates, Jagirs and others” numbering 327, having an area of 6406 square 
miles and a population of 801,674 and yielding a revenue of 74 lakhs of 
rupees, as class ITI States. 


242 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


9. Import and Export Control 

10. Irrigation and Electric Power 

11. Motor vehicles 

12. National Highways 

13. Opium 

14. Posts, Telegraphs and Telephones 

15. Railways 

16. Salt 

17. Taxation 

18. Wireless. 

Notes on Clauses 

Clauses 1 and 2 correspond td clauses (1) and (2) of the Political De- 
partment’s draft, 7 except in one respect. The effect of the latter is to re- 
mit all cash contributions payable by the States while preserving to them 
fort two years the privileges or immunities which they arc enjoying. This 
seems rather one-sided: even section 147 of the Act of 1935 did not 
permit the remission of any cash contribution except in no far as it ex- 
ceeded the value of any privilege or immunity enjoyed by the State. The 
effect of the clauses as redrafted is to remove the two-year limit, and 
to set off the privileges or immunities against the cash contributions. 

Clause 3 corresponds roughly to clause (3) of the Political Depart- 
ment’s draft, but with certain important differences. First, it will be notic- 
ed that in the Schedule referred to in the clause, we have proposed to 
insert three new subjects, defence, external affairs and extradition. Defence 
and external affairs arc the most important matters of. common concern, 
as they involve the security of the whole of India. Extradition is also an 
obvious matter of common concern. Secondly, clause (3) of the Politi- 
cal Department’s draft is limited to the scheduled matters, whereas, ac- 
cording to the present draft, the enumeration in the Schedule is merely 
illustrative and not to be regarded as exhaustive. Every matter of common 
concern, whether it is mentioned in the Schedule or not, comes within 
the meaning of the new clause, although for greater certainty some of 
the more important matters have been enumerated in the Schedule. A 
third point of difference between the two drafts is that the two-year limit 
occurring in the Political Department’s draft has been omitted in the 
revised draft, which substitutes the phrase “until new arrangements in 
this behalf arc completed”, following in this respect the wording of para- 
graph 4 of the Cabinet Mission’s memorandum of May 12, 1946. Last- 
ly, while the Political Department’s draft refers to “existing admimstra- 

7. For the Political Departments draft see The Transfer of Power, Vol. 11, PP- 
385-386. 


243 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


tive arrangements”, the redraft refers to “all relations and arrangements”, 
which is a more comprehensive phrase. In regard to external affairs in 
particular, the term “relations” is more appropriate than “arrangements”. 

It should be noted that relations and arrangements as to defence and 
external affairs are not only covered by the phrase “regulation of matters 
of common concern” occurring in para. 4 of the memorandum, but also 
by the phrase “political arrangements” occurring in para. 5. 

Clause 4. This is new, there being no corresponding clause in the Po- 
litical Department’s draft. It applies only to certain petty States, particul- 
arly in Kathiawar and Gujarat. According to paragraph 11 of the But- 
ler Committee’s Report, there arc 327 of these petty States classed by 
the Committee as estates, jagirs, etc. The total area of these States is 
less than 6,500 square miles and the population at the time of the Com- 
mittee’s Report was less than one million. The Rulers of these States ex- 
ercise petty judicial powers, such as, trying criminal cases punishable with 
not more than three months’ imprisonment and Rs. 200/- fine, and dis- 
posing of civil suits up to Rs. 500/- in value. The residuary powers have 
been exercised in the past by the Crown Representative or by persons 
acting under his authority. It cannot be the intention that after the ter- 
mination of paramountcy, say in August 1947, these petty States are to 
attain a status that they never had during the last 150 years and to ac- 
quire almost overnight powers of life and death. Obviously, therefore, 
some kind of standstill agreement is necessary for the exercise of the resi- 
duary jurisdiction. In a large number of cases, the Crown Representative 
has under various attachment schemes transferred his jurisdiction to the 
“Attaching State”. The effect of clause 4 is that the residuary jurisdiction 
will in future fall to be exercised by, or by persons acting under the 
authority of, the successor Government. If the successor Government 
chooses to adopt the existing attachment schemes in regard to the Attach- 
ed States, it can do so by passing an appropriate order to that effect, and, 
in that event, the residuary jurisdiction will fall to be exercised by, or 
under the authority of, the Ruler of the Attaching State. If, however, the 
successor Government chooses to depart from the attachment scheme in 
any particular instance, it is free to do so. Clause 4 as drafted leaves the 
successor Government free to adopt any course which it deems best. 


244 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


25. To Rajendra Prasad 1 

New Delhi 
25th June 1947 

My dear Rajen Babu, 

I enclose a copy of our draft “standstill” agreement which I am sending 
to Lord Ismay. 2 After a further talk with Rajaji, Rau and Bajpai it was 
decided not to make any alterations in this and to leave it as short and 
simple as possible, in accordance with our previous decision. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal 

1. Rajendra Prasad Papers, National Archives of India. 

2. See the preceding item. 


26. To Rajendra Prasad 1 

New Delhi 
27 June 1947 

My dear Rajendra Babu, 

Your letter of today’s date. All I know about this matter in regard to 
Travancore is what I read in the papers. So I can throw no further light. 
I feel, however, that the Madras Government is perfectly justified in with- 
drawing any officer from Travancore who was on deputation there. This 
applies more specially to a police officer. 

As regards any ban on pulses, I think that action should only be taken 
after full consideration of the policy involved in it. Anyway I think it is 
premature at present. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. J.N. Collection. 


245 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

27. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
28 June 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Thank you for your letter of the 27th June. 2 

My sister is arriving here tomorrow morning. 3 I am sure she will be 
happy to meet you and Lady Mountbatten. Her daughter, Chandralekha, 
is not coming with her. 

Thank you also for your letter of the 26th June about the note I sent 
on the States including our draft for “Standstill” agreement. 4 I hope that 
the draft will be circulated to all the parties concerned. It was prepared 
after consultation with eminent lawyers and the Constitutional Adviser. 

I have also received your letter of the 27th June in regard to the pro- 
posed legislation. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. J.N. Collection. 

2. In his letter of 27 June, Mountbatten mentioned that at his “recent meetings”, 
Jinnah was extremely displeased at his (Mountbatten’s) insistence on re- 
forming the Government on the lines Nehru wanted. In fact, Jinnah had 
claimed that it was completely illegal for Mountbatten to do so and the latter 
therefore undertook to forward his protest to London. 

3. In the same letter Mountbatten expressed his desire to have an informal 
talk with Vijayalakshmi Pandit before she went to take up her important 
duties in Russia and with the U.N.O. 

4. In his letter of 26 June 1947, Mountbatten expressed the hope that “accom- 
modation between the States and the two Dominions” might be secured at 
the meeting next month between the Dominions and the States, who must 
decide between themselves what their future relationship was to be. He would 
do what he could to promote an agreed settlement. 


28. To Vallabhbhai Patel 1 

New Delhi 
30 June 1947 

My dear Vallabhbhai, 

I am writing to you about Bastar State. Several months ago I wrote to 
Lord Wavell drawing his attention to various rumours about Hyderabad 
gaining valuable mining concessions in Baster State. 2 I pointed out that 

1. J.N. Collection. 

2. See Selected Works (Second Series), Vol. 1, pp. 282-284. 


246 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


the Ruler of Bastar was a minor and everything was done on his behalf 
by the Resident.' It seemed to me very improper for any agreement to be 
arrived at in these conditions binding upon Bastar State and allowing 
Hyderabad to exploit its resources and make it some kind of an economic 
colony. There were proposals also for Hyderabad to build a railway. I 
did not know the exact nature of these proposals; but the Central Provin- 
ces Government were intensely interested as their interests were being 
affected. They themselves were thinking of cooperating with Bastar State 
in regard to the exploitation of its mineral resources. 

2. Lord Wavell wrote to me a rather vague letter in which he said that 
the interests of Bastar State were being sufficiently safeguarded and that 
he is referring the matter to the Political Department. I wrote to him 
again on two or three occasions about this matter. 3 

3. I now understand that final agreements between Hyderabad and Bas- 
tar are going to be signed very soon, within two weeks. I hope your States 
Department will take immediate action in the matter and try, if possible, 
to stop the signing of these agreements. Whether the agreements are good 
or bad, I cannot say, not having seen them. But it is very improper for 
the Resident to sell away valuable rights and bind down a State in this 
way without the fullest scrutiny by impartial experts. I understand that 
the Ruler is not only a minor but a halfwit. I hope urgent steps will be 
taken in this matter. 

4. I am informed by Lord Ismay that our draft revised “Standstill” 
agreement has been sent to your States Department for action. I trust 
this wilt be forwarded to all the States to whom the previous draft was 

sent. . . 

Yours sincerely, 

Jawaharlal 

3. See Selected Works (Second Series), Vol. 1, pp. 287-288. 


29. States Cannot be Allowed Independent Status 1 


India cannot tolerate States entering into independent relationship with 
foreign Powers as it will endanger the security of the country. 


1 . 


Inaugural speech at the Delhi Provincial Political Conference. Shahdara. Delhi, 
1 July 1947. From The Hindustan Times, 2 July 1947. 


247 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


I appeal to the States to join, the Indian Union and participate on an 
equal footing in the work of constitution-making. 

I thank the Delhi Provincial Congress Committee for giving me an 
opportunity to talk to you. For a long time I have not been able to attend 
such conferences. Due to overwork I have lost the habit of touring and 
over-concentration on office work makes one know less about the world. 

I have so many things to tell you. Remember that you are at a difficult 
period in the country’s life. What are the problems that we should tackle 
first? There are a number of problems, big and small, but we should not 
lose sight of the important ones and lay stress on problems of secondary 
importance. A commander knows that he cannot fight on all fronts, so 
also you should keep in mind what you should tackle first. 

You all know that the existing British rule will end in a month and a 
half. Though we will not be completely free, at least a big step forward 
will be taken on August 15. What is to happen during this intervening 
period? With the coming of power in our hands, our responsibility will 
increase and a number of intricate problems will require a solution. 

The partition of the country has placed immense difficulties in our 
way. We have, however, to face them courageously and build up a new 
country. We can face them only when we take up first things first. We 
will have to establish a strong Government which can maintain peace in 
the country. If there is no peace and the Government is weak there will 
be a breakdown of the administrative machinery. We should, therefore, 
build up a strong Government representative of the people. So far there 
was the British Government which put difficulties in our way. During 
the last few months the Interim Government has been functioning, but 
there were so many differences that nothing much could be done. These 
obstacles will not be in our way now. Our own disunity and attempt to 
do too many things at the same time might make it difficult for us to solve 
our problems. 

For a long time we have cried Inquilab Zindabad and it is now five 
years that we made the Quit India declaration. Our wishes are now being 
fulfilled to a great extent. It is not only a great event in the history of 
India but of the world also. 

The tree of imperialism planted by the British 150 years ago is being 
uprooted. Just as a big tree, when it is uprooted, shakes and loosens the 
earth on which it is planted, similarly with the coming end of the British 
power there is a lot of turmoil in the country. 

The question of the States is one of the important problems facing us. 
We hope that even at the start most of the States will be with us. Some 
of them are, however, talking of revolt. We know what will be the end 
of this talk, but we are worried about what is going to happen during 


248 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


the next two or three months. The Rulers of these States arc following a 
wrong policy along with their Dewans. 

It was the aim of the British policy to keep the Indian States isolated 
from the rest of India. For a long time the British Government insisted 
that Rulers of Indian States should obey them. Nawabs and Rajas were 
deposed if they refused to do so. But since the question of freedom of 
the country came in the forefront, the British Government attempted to 
revise their policy. During the last 17 years they tried to establish a new 
relationship with the States. An. attempt was made to divide the country 
into Indian India and British India. 

During the last nine months that we have been in the Interim Govern- 
ment we have had no power over the States Governments. Last year the 
British Government announced that paramountcy would end and that 
power would revert back to the States. 2 The British announcement has 
placed the States in a vacuum. 

They have only one alternative, that is, to join the Indian Union whose 
constitution is being framed by the Constituent Assembly as equal mem- 
bers. There is no question of someone ruling over them. 

But what arc you going to do with those States which do not join the 
Indian Union? It is clear that if there is a strong Government in India it 
cannot tolerate smaller units entering into independent relationship with 
foreign Powers as it will endanger the security of the country. Supposing 
a smaller State enters into relationship with a foreign Power, then there 
is a danger that that Power may start with economic domination of the 
weaker State and ultimately establish its own rule. India cannot tolerate it. 

The past 150 years of the British rule showed that when the East 
India Company established its hold in the country firmly it could not 
tolerate the independence of individual States. It fought with other for- 
eign Powers like the French who had established themselves in the coun- 
try so that there should be only one dominant power. It is evident that 
we cannot tolerate that smaller units should establish direct relationship 
with foreign countries so that the latter might establish their foothold 

in the country. , 

Unfortunately, there is a tendency in our country to treat all British 

pronouncements as the law of the land. We forget that times have chang- 
ed. The time is coming when laws will be framed by the people. 


The Cabinet Mission’s memorandum of 12 May 1946 on the States treaties 
md paramountcy had stated that when an independent Government or Govern- 
iST being “the right, of the States which flow from thc.r rclahon- 
S to .b« Crown will no longnr „i>. nnd ,te. nU ,hn ngh,, b, 

the States to the paramount power will return to the States. 


249 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


It is clear that the Indian Union is going to be a strong power and 
the States which do not join us will be comparatively weaker. Except 
irritating and annoying us for a temporary period, the announcements 
of independence made by them do not serve any useful purpose. It is 
wrong to say that we intend to exploit or establish imperialist hold over 
the States. Free India will have a panchayat raj. 

The problems of the States can be understood better in the context 
of the existing situation in India. There is an Interim Government in 
Delhi. Do you know what is happening in Gurgaon?'* Hundreds of vill- 
ages have been burnt and you may well ask what sort of Government 
we have. Similar is the story from Lahore. That ancient and great city 
is half burnt. The fact is that whatever is happening in the Punjab and 
other places is beyond our control. Except visiting these places occasion- 
ally and putting indirect pressure, we cannot do much. 

We are between two ages. The British rule is going and they have 
no heart in- the work of maintaining law and order. They do not 
care what happens after six months in India. During this period of tran- 
sition it is necessary to have a strong Central Government. We hope that 
it will be formed and the things that are happening in Gurgaon and other 
places will not happen. Seventy or eighty thousand refugees from the 
N.W.F.P. and the Punjab have come to Delhi, Hardwar and other places. 
There is a great desire to help them and we will do our best. It breaks our 
hearts to see the mass oppression which forced large numbers of persons 
to leave their homes. We must sec to it that these happenings do not oc- 
cur after August 15. 

There is a grievance about retrenchment. Every Government must 
undertake some responsibility for giving the people employment, food and 
clothing. During the war, lakhs of people were employed on war work. 
Expenses increased tremendously because of them. The war was over and 
they remained in service. The Government will be very glad to retain 
them all but how are they to pay them? That burden will fall on the 
people. There is no point in keeping people in employment without work 
for them to do. Prices have gone up and are going up and demands have 
been made for increasing wages. 


3. Serious communal riots had broken out in villages adjoining Gurgaon. There 
was tension in Bulandshahr and other nearby towns because of the heavy 
influx of refugees. In Bulandshahr Section 144 had been promulgated for one 
month. 


250 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


The Pay Commission’s recommendations 4 will cost about Rs. 25 or 
26 crores. Other wages also w'ill have to be raised and the annual Central 
and Provincial Governments’ expenditure may go up by about Rs. 100 
crores. This does not touch non-Govemment employees. Wages of factory 
workers will also have to go up. If we spend half of our income on Govern- 
ment employees, what will be left for maintaining the army, which is 
necessary to meet external dangers and for internal security. In addition, 
we should have hospitals and other amenities for the people and, above 
all, money for executing planning on a big scale. We have to step up 
industrial and agricultural production and will have to invest crores of 
rupees. Where is all this money to come from? The basic fact is that 
although India is potentially a rich country, in fact today it is a very 
poor one. 

There have been strikes and I am sure that there were grievances in 
every case. But today, when there is a shortage of goods — cloth, for ex- 
ample — strikes merely aggravate the shortage. Each day of strik6 lessens 
the national wealth. At this time our first problem is to increase produc- 
tion in every field. Workers in a few factories may strike and improve 
their condition but they hurt the whole country. Workers have a great 
responsibility, as they have great power. 

Today the country has strength but there is great indiscipline. Every- 
one is pulling in a different direction. The Interim Government has had 
many troubles in the last nine months and I would not like even an 
enemy of mine to be in the chair of office under such conditions. These 
difficulties can be faced only if the Government are conscious that the 
people are willing to share their burden. We will fail before the world and 
ourselves if we have internal dissensions. We will not be able to build a 
strong Central Government and even little States may challenge us. Only 
a popular Government whose reins are with the people can be powerful. 

Pakistan is a grievous wound but, now it has left, the greater part of 
India can be strong and united. We have been weakened by the secession 
but we must do nothing to increase that weakness. 


4. On 16 May 1947, the Central Pay Commission recommended a minimum 
basic salary of Rs. 30 per month and a maximum salary of Rs. 2,000 per 
month. It also recommended grant of insurance cover to all employees and 
children’s education allowance to those drawing a salary below Rs. 100. The 
age of retirement was fixed at 58. 


251 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


30. Telegram to M.K. Vellodi 1 

Your telegram first July. 2 Sorry to learn of your distress at activities of 
agents of Indian States in London. We fully realise this, though we do 
not think it can produce much effect in present context. Time for making 
decisions in London is passing. However, every effort should be made to 
keep in touch with situation and inform us of it. Please meet Katju re- 
aching London Sunday. Krishna Menon starting Friday next. 

2. Our position regarding States as follows: 

Quite apart from question of lapse of paramountcy of British Crown, 
geography and questions of security make it impossible for us to recognise 
independence of any State; nor can we recognise any State joining Pakis- 
tan, unless it is contiguous to it and its people wish it to join. Most States 
have already joined Constituent Assembly of India. We expect others to 
do so soon. Those remaining over may do so, subject inevitably to their 
defence, foreign policy and some other matters being controlled by Indian 
Union. I have stated formally that any recognition by a foreign State of 
independence of an Indian State will be considered by us an unfriendly 
act 3 Foreign trade relations of Indian States, leading to creation of foreign 
vested interests, also considered objectionable by us. 

3. Sudhir Ghosh’s telegram to me, dated 3rd July regarding Frontier 
referendum: no breach of pledge involved in abstention from referendum 
by Frontier Congress. Referendum nevertheless takes place. Method of 
asking people to choose was objected to as it became a communal ques- 
tion. Ideal of free Pathanistan does not mean complete independence or 
isolation from India. It means full autonomy for province and liberty of 
choice as to which Dominion to join. Frontier Congress entirely opposed 
to any intrusion of Afghanistan in a matter which appertains to India only. 

4. On Muslim League side propaganda to build up pan-Islamic State 
from Frontier to West Asia. Frontier Congressmen entirely opposed to 
this as well as to joining Pakistan. However in order to avoid contest 
on purely communal issue and possibility of conflict on such issue they 
decided to abstain from taking part in referendum. Quite clear that there 

1. New Delhi, 4 July 1947. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 888-889. 

2. “. . .There are signs that agents for Indian States are at present very active 

in London. . .money being freely spent in influencing people... in regard to 
question of States Independence. . .Some counter propaganda appears neces- 
sary ” 

3. See ante , item 13. 


252 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


is no demand for separate sovereign state as everyone realises Frontier 
Province too small and weak for such existence. 

5. Sudhir Ghosh's statement regarding continuity of India completely 
correct position that certain areas have seceded from India and have been 
formed into a separate State of Pakistan. The rest of India continues as 
before and all treaties and engagements with it continue as when Burma 
was separated. 


31. To the Maharaja of Kashmir 1 


***It is hardly possible in the course of a brief letter to discuss any 
matter of importance. *** I would suggest to you, therefore, that it would 
be desirable for you to meet my colleagues and me and discuss matters 
of common interest.*** I view the question entirely impersonally and I 
bear no grudge to anyone. Certainly I have no ill will for you.* r What 
I am concerned with is not the past but the future and I want to consider 
this future in terms of friendly cooperation with you and with others con- 
cerned. *** As far as possible, we want to go ahead with the cooperation 
of others. 

I do not think it is possible for any Indian State to be completely in- 
dependent. In the w'orld today such small independent entities have no 
place, more especially in the frontier regions between two great States. 
*** I appreciate your difficulties. I am not unused to facing difficulties 
myself. The best way to do so is to face them and overcome them, and 
I would suggest to you that the time has come, indeed it is overdue now, 
that a definite change in State policy should take place.*** I trust that 
you will appreciate what I have written and the advice I have ventured to 
give you. I am quite sure that it is for the good of Kashmir, for your goo , 
and for the good of .India as a whole. 


1 4 July 1947. Mahatma Gandhi — The Last Phase, Vol. 2, by 

(Ahmedabad, 1958), p. 350. The omissions in the source are indicated by three 
stars (***). The full text of the letter is not available. 


253 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

32, To G.P. Hutheesing 1 


New Delhi 
July 5, 1947 


My dear Raja, 

I was glad to get your letter of the 29th June. As I telegraphed to you, 
I was frightfully busy and I could not find time to write. Because I have 
been so terribly occupied and distracted I did not immediately ask you 
to come here, much as I wanted to see you. Of course you would have 
been welcome at any time but I would not have a chance of a real talk 
with you. When you feel like coming, you can just inform me and fly 
over. 

I read with interest what you iiave written about C.P. and Travancorc. 
The analysis you have made of the situation is no doubt correct. That 
has been our own view and feeling in the matter. But I do not quite sec 
what your proposal means. We have been dealing with C.P. in the States 
Negotiation Committee and otherwise for nearly six months now. We 
have approached him with all courtesy and friendliness. He has on the 
other hand consistently behaved in a most peculiar manner and has tried 
to upset all our plans even after agreeing to them. I must say that I have 
been amazed at his utter irresponsibility. No man, however able or vain, 
can be permitted to do manifest injury to the nation. There are some 
things which it is difficult to overlook or forgive and C.P. has crossed 
the limit. In any event it is not a personal matter for any of us. An issue 
has been raised which cannot be settled privately or personally. Certainly 
it is beyond my power to do anything about it. When a question becomes 
a public one it cannot be treated on a personal basis. 

Indu is in Mussoorie with her children. 


Yours affectionately, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 


254 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


33. To the Maharaja of Manipur 1 

New Delhi 
7th July 1947 

My dear Maharaja Sahib, - 

Thank you for your letter of the 24th June. I am forwarding it to the 
Constituent Assembly office. 

As you know, we are anxious to meet your wishes in this matter, 3 in 
so far as we can. Our only difficulty has been how to fit in with the rules 
laid down for the purpose of election to the Constituent Assembly. 
Events are marching rapidly and every State has to come to some deci- 
sion. That decision is not merely one of joining the Constituent Assem- 
bly, but joining the Indian Union. I hope that, in any event, you will 
send your representative to discuss these matters, with full authority to 
speak on behalf of your State. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. Constituent Assembly of India, Constitution Section, File No. 84 (3)/Ser/47, 
Ministry of Law, Government of India. 

2. Bodh Chandra Singh; assumed charge of Manipur State in September 1941 
and was recognised in his post by the Viceroy on 1 April 1942. 

?. The Maharaja of Manipur had requested that his Government’s request to 
have their own special and separate representative in the Constituent Assembly 
bo granted by reshuffling the allocation of seats. 


34. To the Maharaja of Samthar 1 


New Delhi 
7th July 1947 

Dear Maharaja Sahcb, 

I am sorry for the delay in answering your letter of the 20th June.-’ I am 
passing it on to the new States Department of the Government of India. 


I. 


f.N. Collection. _ , ... . 

Maharaja R.C. Singh stated that Samthar — a small treaty State in Btindclkhand 

-was willing to join the Indian Union. But as that State was very small he was 
rying for the formation of a Central India confederation. In case no such 
:onfederation was formed, he desired some sort of political agreement win 
:hc Indian Union. 


255 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


As far as I can say, the first thing to be done is for all States, big and 
small, to associate themselves with the Indian Union through the Con- 
stituent Assembly. Other matters can then be considered and decided 
upon. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


35, To N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar 1 

New Delhi 
7th July 1947 

My dear Gopalaswami, 

Thank you for your letter of the 6th July. You know that we tried to 
do our utmost to get the draft Bill changed in so far as the States were 
concerned. Immediately after receipt of the draft Bill, I wrote to the 
Viceroy again on the subject and pointed out all that you have said. 
I gave a note to him to be telegraphed and I gave a further note to 
Lord Ismay who was leaving immediately after for London. I doubt, 
however, if the British Government will make any more substantial 
changes. Stafford Cripps has got fixed ideas on this subject. 

The position, therefore, is that we have to rely more on circumstances 
and the strength of the Union than on any legislation of the British 
Parliament. One thing is certain — that we cannot possibly permit Berar 
to join Hyderabad State. We arc not going to do so. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. J.N. Collection. 


36. To Vallabhbhai Patel 1 

New Delhi 
9 July 1947 

My dear Vallabhbhai, 

Here is the piece of information which I showed to you. The note is 
dated 5 July, and is anonymous. 

1. Sardar Patel's Correspondence 1945-50, Vol. 7, p. 38. 


256 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


The Hyderabad Government have just placed an order for four 
crores of rupees worth ammunition with Mr. Krai, 2 calling himself 
representative of the Czechoslovakian Government, and the Army 
Commander Edroos 3 has left today for Europe to arrange for im- 
mediate despatch. Dated 5 July. 

It may or may not be of value, but it is certainly worth enquiring into, 
in so far as you can. I shall try to enquire into the matter by other 
means. 4 

I am also informed by a reliable authority that the Hyderabad Gov- 
ernment has come to an arrangement with the Birmingham Small Arms 
Company for supply of arms. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal 

2. Karel Bedrech Krai, a Czech national and an expert in optical instruments 
and gun sights, had entered India under the assumed name of Harold Arthur 
Whitehead. He flew to Karachi on 12 July 1947. Orders were issued for his 
arrest on return to Bombay as he was suspected of smuggling currency out 
of India and transacting a deal in firearms with the Nizam. 

3. El Edroos, the Commander-in-Chief of the Hyderabad forces, had gone at this 
time to London to buy equipment for the army. Under him the army in 
Hyderabad had grown in numbers from 20,000 to 35,000. 

4. The Czechoslovakian Government informed the Indian Government that the 
Hyderabad Government had approached them for the puichase of arms and 
ammunition worth 3 crores of rupees. The Indian Government replied that if 
they complied with the order it would be regarded as an unfriendly act. 


37. To G.P. Hutheesing 1 

New Delhi 
14 July 1947 

My dear Raja, 

I have your letter of the 9th July with the note C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar 
gave you. I appreciate greatly all the trouble you have taken in this mat- 
ter and your offer to help. I fear, however, that nothing can be done on 
these lines, certainly not by me. As I wrote to you previously, the matter 
has gone too far for individual approaches. In any event the right person 
to deal with it is Sardar Patel who is officially in charge of our States 
Department. C.P. is in Delhi at present having been summoned by the 
Viceroy. 

1. J.N. Collection. 


257 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

It is a little difficult to mention in a letter all that has happened during 
the past six months or more . 2 I have come to the conclusion that C.P. is 
completely unbalanced and equally unreliable. His vanity is paranoiac 
and has gone beyond all normal limits. Even if he had been treated 
curtly by any of us, there are some things which are not done by any 
decent or patriotic individual. His complaints of ill treatment in Delhi 
have no basis so far as I am concerned. It is true I had not called on 
him. As a matter of fact I have not called on a single person from the 
Viceroy, Princes or others; I have only visited people by special appoint- 
ment on business or for a meal when invited. Normally I do not even 
know when C.P. is here. Once I invited him to lunch, and we had a 
talk. 

He has done many things in the past few months which are difficult 
to forgive. What Sardar Patel wrote to him, which seems to have hurt 
him, was partly taken from a letter from C.P. to Attlee — a very objec- 
tionable letter which was forwarded to the Viceroy . 3 Throughout these 
months he has been carrying on an intrigue with Bhopal and coming in 
the way of States coming into the Union. His latest stunt of appointing 
an envoy to Pakistan was, and must presumably he meant to be, an insult 
to the Union of India. His references to our embassy in Moscow are so 
utterly irresponsible that the Viceroy said we would have to take some 
action in the matter. In some of his speeches and statements which 
abound, he has descended to vulgarity and indecency. What is hap- 
pening in Travancore today is pretty bad. For a man to indulge in all 
these activities because his vanity is hurt is to demonstrate a complete 
lack of balance. 

2. For example, on 10 July 1947, Pattam Thanu Pillai, President of the Travan- 
core State Congress, had wired to Patel, “...Travancore is subjected to 
unbridled dictatorship by an irresponsible non-Travancorean Dewan and com- 
plete negation of law and order to enforce his policy of keeping the state 
outside Indian Union against the wishes of people. Pray immediate inquiry 
by an impartial agent and steps to ensure good Government.” 

3. Referring to Listowel’s statement at a press conference in London on 4 July 
1947 in which he had referred to the declaration of independence by Hydera- 
bad and Travancore, Ramaswami Aiyar, in his telegram of 6 July 1947 to 
Attlee, stated that Travancore could not be forced. 1 to join a Dominion which 
had “at this critical juncture in world history” established diplomatic relations 
with the Soviet Republic. He further stated that although Travancore had 
offered to enter into “the most friendly treaty and other relations” with the 
two Dominions in regard to defence, communications and other matters the 
independence of Travancore was essential for its existence. He also praised 
Patel for his statement of 5 ' July 1947 in which he had said, “The States have 
already accepted the basic principle that for defence, foreign affairs and com- 
munications they would come into an Indian Union.... In other matters, 
we would scrupulously respect their autonomous existence.” 


258 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATBS 


The question, therefore, is not of his agreeing to certain terms in 
regard to cooperating with the Indian Union but something much more 
serious. 

As a matter of fact his complaint that the Constituent Assembly has 
accepted certain proposals of the Union Powers Committee is com- 
pletely baseless. The matter has not been considered by the Constituent 
Assembly yet. It is a tragedy that a man of his ability should direct 
that ability to base and harmful ends. Ability is very desirable, but 
even more necessary in a human oeing is integrity of character and 
balance. 

So far as I am concerned, I have not mentioned his name at all during 
the last few months. I have sometimes referred to the Indian States as 
such or to those States that claimed independence. 

I should not advise you to get entangled in this rather complicated 
matter. 1 do not myself propose to have much to do w'ith it directly 
unless circumstances force me. Our States Department under Sardai 
Patel will deal with it, or the whole Government of India will deal with 
it. I am sending your letter and C.P.’s note to Sardar Patel. 

Yours affectionately, 
Jawaharlal 


38 To Hiralal Shastri 1 

New Delhi 
July 14, 1947 

My dear Hiralalji, 

I feel that it is! inadvisable and inexpedient for me to continue my mem- 
bership of the Standing Committee of the All India States People s Con- 
ferencc. I find that there is considerable difference in approach to the 
problems that face us between the Acting President. Dr. Pattabhi Sita- 
ramayya, and myself. Dr. Pattabhi evidently does not approve of much 
that I say or do and in the circumstances it is right that he should have 
a free hand to shape the policy of the States People’s Conference. I re- 
gret dissociating myself from the Standing Committee which has honoured 
me so much in the past. Of course, this docs not mean any slackening 
in my interest in the problem of the Indian States. I think this is the 
most vital problem today for us in India and I shall endeavour to be of 
service to the people of the States in such ways as I can. But owin to 

t. I-Iiralal Shastri Papers, N.M.M.L. 


259 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


differences of approach and temperament I find it difficult to function 
as a member of the executive of the organisation. 

I should like to convey to you and to all the members of the Stand- 
ing Committee my grateful thanks for all the courtesy and cooperation 
which they have extended to me in the past. 

You will, therefore, kindly treat this letter as my resignation from 
the membership of the Standing Committee of the All India States 
People’s Conference. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


39. On His Resignation from the Standing Committee 1 


Statements have appeared in the press about my offer of resignation 
from the Standing Committee of the All India States People’s Conference 
and various speculations have been indulged in. The report as it appears 
in the press is very largely incorrect more especially in its reference to 
Travancore . 2 It is true that for a number of reasons I decided to offer my 
resignation from the Standing Committee of the States People’s Con- 
ference. 

These reasons had absolutely nothing to do with Travancore, but were 
mainly based on the fact that I could not give the time that a Standing 
Committee member should give to the work of the States people. 

Naturally my interest continues and I am of the opinion that the ques- 
tion of the States is of the most vital significance at the present moment 
in India. In offering my resignation I assured the States People’s Con- 
ference that I would continue to be of service to them in every way that 
was possible for me. 

1. Statement published in The Hindustan Times , 19 July 1947. 

2. It was reported in the newspapers that Nehru had resigned his membership of 
the Standing Committee of the All India States People’s Conference because 
of the divergence of views between himself and the Acting President of the 
Conference, Pattabhi Sitaramayya, in regard to the attitude towards the States 
and specially towards Travancore. 


260 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


There has been no question of sending anyone from here to organize 
the popular struggle in the Travancore State.-'* No one has suggested this. 
What happened was that Sir C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar publicly invited 
newspapermen and others to go to Travancore and to see for themselves 
how far civil and other liberties existed there. In view of this invitation 
it was suggested that one or more persons might visit Travancore for 
this particular purpose of observing after giving information of their 
visit to the Dewan of the State. 

I would like to add that there is no vital difference of opinion between 
Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya and myself in regard to the States problem in 
India. 

3. A meeting of Malayalee residents of Delhi, held on 14 July 1947, expressed 
sympathy with the people of Travancore in their struggle for responsible Gov- 
ernment and appealed to the Indian National Congress to give them direct 
aid and advice” if they resorted to a struggle against the autocratic form ot 
Government. 


40. The Future of Gilgit 1 


The question of the retrocession of the Gilgit subdivision came up be- 
fore me in April last.- 1 then expressed the opinion that the proper 
time to consider this would be early next year when the picture of the 
constitution of the Indian Union as also Kashmir’s association with it 
would be much clearer and the problem could be considered in all its 
aspects. As I pointed out then, this in no way prejudiced the claims of 
Kashmir. The only argument that was advanced against this was based 
on the severity of the winter climate and the difficulty of taking any 
steps. The proposal then was that retrocession should take place in 

September 1947. 


Note. 19 July 1947. Ministry ot External Affairs. Vile No. 267-C.A/47. PP . 
28-30/notcs, National Archives of India. 

2. See Selected Works (Second Series), Vol. 2. P . 27b. 


261 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


2. The Crown Representative said that it would be better and more in 
consonance with the policy of achieving the greatest possible devolution 
of paramountcy by the end of 1947 to terminate the agreement about 
Gilgit in September 1947. I was informed of this and I said in view of 
this decision I would raise no further objection. 

3. Since this was done further developments have taken place and it 
has now been proposed to terminate the agreement about Gilgit im- 
mediately and to hand over that sub-division to the Kashmir Govern- 
ment. The matter has come up before the Defence Department indirectly 
in connection with the future of the scouts and the wireless equipment 
which were sent from here. So far as those two minor matters are con- 
cerned I have nothing to say and it is for the Defence Department to 
decide. 

4. In regard to the major matter of handing over Gilgit I would sug- 
gest that no ’immediate steps be taken. This does not involve any real 
delay and in any event the date previously fixed, i.e., September 1947 
is still far off. 

5. It is true that in view of the Indian Independence Act certain other 
consequences follow. But plans are being made for standstill agreements 
and other arrangements with the States and any premature steps taken 
now might have consequences which do not fit in with the future arrange- 
ments It is probable that somei decision might be made by the Kashmir 
Government in regard to future association with the Dominion in the 
course of the next two or three weeks. It seems to me obviously dcsir- 
abld for us to wait till this decision is made and then to take such steps 
as! might flow from the decision or the standstill arrangements. 

6. This applies not only to Gilgit but to other States also where there 
may be cantonments and Government of India troops might be stationed. 
These troops should continue where they arc for the present. 

7. This is a matter also for the States Department to consider and I 
suggest that the file might be sent to them. 


262 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


41. To the Maharaja of Patiala 1 


New Delhi 


Dear Maharaja, 2 

I am writing to you about a matter which does not 
least and about which normally I would not write 
forgive me, therefore, for butting in in this way. 


25 July 1947 

concern me in the 
to you. You must 


2. I learnt today of a story that is going round to the effect that at a 
private meeting of some Rulers it was suggested by the Maharaja of 
Gwalior that the Nawab of Rampur should also be invited. It is reported 
that you replied that you wanted no Muslim and, therefore, the Nawab 
should not be asked. This was apparently reported to the Nawab of 
Rampur possibly with some exaggeration, and the Nawab is rather upset 
about it. The story is going round with suitable embellishment. 

3. I have no idea what truth there is in this story. But the fact that 
it is going round distressed me. You will realise, no doubt, that such 
stories create needless ill will. I am sure you would put an end to it in 
some suitable way. Because of this I decided to draw your attention to it. 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. Yadavendra Singh (1913-1974); succeeded as Maharaja in 1938; served in Second 
World War in Malaya, Western Desert, Italy and Burma; Rajpramukh of the 
Patiala and East Punjab States Union, 1948-56; Indian delegate to the United 
Nations, 1956-57 and to the U.N.E.S.C.O. conference in Paris, 1958; led the 
Indian delegation to the Food and Agriculture Organization conferences in 
Rome several times from 1959 to 1969; Ambassador to Italy, 1965-66; Mem- 
ber, Punjab Legislative Assembly, 1967-68; Ambassador to the Netherlands, 
1971 - 74 . 


42. To the Maharaja of Patiala 1 

New Delhi 
25 July 1947 

Dear Maharaja, 

A friend of mine has written to me about a lady worker named Kamala 
Devi of Namaul who is reported to have been arrested by the Patiala 

1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 


263 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


police. She is said to be a young woman, 25 years of age. I understand 
she has been sentenced to a year’s rigorous imprisonment with some 
others. I do not know what her offence was. But the friend who has 
written to me is a person whose opinion I value and he tells me that she 
is a fine young woman and is likes a sister Jo him. I understand that she 
is at present in the Patiala central jail and is not being treated even as 
a political prisoner. I shall be grateful if you will kindly look into her 
case and show clemency to her. 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


43. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
27 July 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

You will remember that soon after your arrival in India as Viceroy I 
discussed Kashmir with you. It was my intention then to visit Kashmir. 
But on your telling me that you would go there yourself, I decided to 
postpone my visit. Your visit to Kashmir was from my particular point 
of view not a success and things continued as before. 2 Indeed there was 
considerable disappointment at the lack of results of your visit. 

2. My desire to visit Kashmir remained and indeed I felt it my parti- 
cular duty to go there. But in view of various other happenings following 
one another I continued to postpone my visit. I feel now that I must go 
there very soon if I have to go at all. I know very well that the work in 
Delhi is important and urgent and it is not easy for me to leave it. But 
Kashmir has become a first priority for me. 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 12, p. 368. 

2. Reporting his talk with Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru Mountbatten wrote to 
the Maharaja of Kashmir on 27 June 1947: “I further went on to say that 
you were most anxious not to have any political leaders coming up at this 
time, since any form of propaganda speeches at this moment might well arouse 
communal feelings... 

Mr. Nehru was very upset, and said he felt he must go up to Kashmir him- 
self at once. I told him that I did not feel that his services could be spared 
from the Centre with only seven weeks remaining in which to fix up the 
details of partition and the transfer of power; and he promised to think it 
over.” 


264 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


3. I have decided, therefore, to go to Kashmir about the 4th of August 
and to stay there four or five days. I shall fix up my programme more 
definitely in a day or two. I shall go, of course, as a private individual 
and not as a Member of Government. My chief object in going there 
will be to meet my many friends and colleagues and more specially the 
common folk who have suffered so much owing to the disastrous policy 
followed by the State authorities for over a year. If it is possible for 
me, I shall meet Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah who is in prison. I shall 
endeavour to come back by the 10th of August. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


44. To Mahatma Gandhi 1 

28.7.47 

Dear Bapu, 

I have seen the Viceroy’s letter. 2 What am I to say about it? I wrote 
to you this morning that I would not trouble you any more about your 
programme. That is entirely for you to judge. 

1 am a little tired of hearing what Pandit Kak feels or thinks. 1 am 
not concerned with it. Indeed I think that it would be normally right 
to do the opposite of what he advises. For many months ever since 
Mountbatten came — this question of your going or mine has been dis- 
cussed and postponed. I have had enough of this business. This is not 
my way of doing anything. I hardly remember anything that has exas- 
perated me quite so much as this atlair. 

It is for you to judge what you should do. Meanwhile I shall go 
ahead with my plans. As between visiting Kashmir when my people 
need me there and being Prime Minister, I prefer the former. 

Yours, 

Jawaharlal 


Pyarelal Papers, N.M.M.I-. 

In his letter to Mahatma Gandhi of 28 July 1947, Mountbatten said that 
Kak told him that (as conveyed earlier to Mahatma Gandhi) he Kashm 
Government was “very anxious not to have the visit from a P° ‘ ‘= a ' 

. . , and that although he feared even a visit from Mahatma Gandhi might 
provoke violence, the fact that the latter was “known to preach "°"’ vlolence 
wo, dd reduce the risk in your (Mahatma Gandhi’s) case to less than half 
the risk if Pandit Nehru came.” He further asked Mountbatten ^ 
Mahatma Gandhi that if he felt the v.stt very necessary .£ en ‘ h * * Jma 

visit was better than Nehru’s, since the public was mentally prepared fo . 


265 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


45. To Mahatma Gandhi 1 


28.7.47 

Dear Bapu, 

Thank you for your letter. I have also written to the Viceroy informing 
him that I propose to go to Kashmir about the 4th August for 4 or 5 
days. I have not mentioned your name in this connection. 

I have nothing to suggest about your Punjab programme or later. 

I agree that the Viceroy should move to a smaller house. The only 
present difficulty is one of finding suitable accommodation and making 
arrangements for changing over when we arc so busy. 


Yours, 

Jawaharlal 

I am asking Badshah Khan to sec me today at my house at 2.30. 

I. Pynrclal Papers. N.M.M.L. 


46. The Projected Visit to Kashmir 1 


Pandit Nehru held forth at some length about his mental distress and 
defended his visit on the grounds that (a) nothing would be more 
natural than that Congress should send a high-level emissary to lay be- 
fore the Government of Kashmir the advantages of joining the Dominion 
of India, and (b) that it was well known that he was overworked; that 
he would like to go away for three or four days rest somewhere in any 
case, and that Kashmir would be a delightful place in which to have 
a brief holiday. The fact that he might be engaged on local work would 
be a sufficient change of occupation to give him the necessary rest. 2 

1. Mountbatten’s note on his meeting with Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru and Patel, 
on 29 July 1947 at New Delhi. Extracts. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 
12, pp. 397-399. 

2. At the meeting Mountbatten had said that since Kashmir had the choice of 
joining India or Pakistan Nehru's visit would be regarded as a “piece of 
straightforward political lobbying.” This effect could be somewhat mitigated if 
instead of Nehru Mahatma Gandhi went. Patel considered that Mahatma 
Gandhi’s visit would be the lesser evil. Finally it was decided that Mahatma 
Gandhi should go. 


266 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


47. To Hirafal Shastri 1 


New Delhi 
5 August 1947 

My dear Hiralalji, 

J received some days ago your letter asking me to withdraw my re- 
signation from the Standing Committee. 2 If you and my other colleagues 
feel that I should withdraw it I shall gladly do so, as I do not want 
to do anything which might injure the cause of the States people. 

But I am not sure whether it will be proper for me in the future to 
continue as a member of a committee like this. However we shall sec 
to this later. 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. Hiralal Shastri had on 30 July 1947 conveyed to Nehru his wish and that of 
the other members of the Standing Committee that he (Nehru) should con- 
tinue ns a member of the Standing Committee of the All India States People's 
Conference. 


48. To Begum Abdullah 1 


New Delhi 
August 8, 1947 


My dear Begum Sahiba, 

I have not been able to meet Mahatma Gandhi since his icluin from 
Kashmir as he went direct to Patna, but I have had some reports o! his 
visit and he has also written to me. 2, I am very happy to learn from his 
letter as well as from other accounts of the success of this visit. I must 
congratulate you and your committee on this. 1 am sorry that his visit 
was such a brief one, but in the circumstances it was not possible to 
extend it. 


1. J.N. Collection. 

2. Giving an account of his visit to Kashmir from 1 to 4 August .nia raa 

Gandhi wrote to Nehru on 6 August 1947 that the Maharaja and Maharam of 
Kashmir, in their talk with him, had admitted that with the lapse of para- 
mountcy the true paramountcy of the people of Kashmir would commence. 
Bakshi Gluilam Mohammad, had assured him that the result of the bee vo c 
of the people would be in favour of Kashmir joining the Indian Union 
provided Sheikh Abdullah and his co-prisoners were released, kak on being 
told by him (Mahatma Gandhi) about his unpopularity among the people, 
had written to the Maharaja that “on a sign from him'’ he would gladly resign. 


267 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAIIARLAL NEHRU 


I am told that he expressed a wish to come back to Kashmir if his 
other engagements in East Bengal and Bihar permitted this. I earnestly 
hope that this may be possible. 

Some time ago I sent you a draft for Rs. 5,000 for relief work. 1 
was told later that this sum had not been used by you and there was 
some question as to how the money should be employed. Thereupon 
I sent you a telegram making it quite clear that the money should only 
be used for relief of the poor and distressed and that it was entirely in 
your personal discretion as to how to spend it. I hope you are utilising 
it for the object I have mentioned. 

I am now sending you another draft for Rs. 5,000/- for a like pur- 
pose. That is to say, that this money is also to be utilised for relief work 
only and you are to be the sole judge of how it is to be used for this 
purpose. There is no question of anyone else or any committee being 
consulted in this matter. 

I might mention that the money I have sent to you comes out of a 
relief fund which is earmarked. Therefore, this money cannot be used 
for any purpose except for relief of the poor and distressed. 

I am sending today separately a draft for Rs. 5,000/- to Dr. Shambhu- 
nath Peshin 2 for the National Hospital. 

Please send my affectionate greetings to Sheikh Sahib. I hope it would 
be possible for us to meet before long. 

With regards, 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

2. A leading member of the Muslim Conference; was arrested in 1938 for pub- 
lishing. a manifesto, the “National Demand”. 


49. To Vallabhbhai Patel 1 

New Delhi 
13 August 1947 

My dear Vallabhbhai, 

I enclose a letter from the Prime Minister of Madras sending a report 


1. Senior Patel's Correspondence 1945-50, Vol. 5, p. 447. 


268 


THE INTEGRATION OF STATES 


about propaganda by the Dewan of Travancore in Anjengo. 2 This will 
no doubt interest you. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal 


2. In his letter of 8 August, O.P. Ramasvvami Reddiar informed Nehru that 
according to a report from the district magistrate of Tinnevelli, the Travan- 
core State authorities were threatening to raid Anjengo, which was under British 
jurisdiction, as they thought that it was being used as the headquarters by the 
agitators, who had given notice of starting a direct action campaign from 1 
August. The State authorities had also not allowed a consignment of 100 bags 
of rice to be taken to Anjengo through Kadakkavur which was in the terri- 
tory of Travancore. 


50. To the Maharaja of Cochin 1 

New Delhi 
14 August 1947 

My dear Maharaja Saheb, 

Thank you for your letter of the 9th August. I have also had a talk 
with your Dewan, Mr. Karunakara Menon. 2 It is very difficult for me 
to give any advice in detail without closely studying the situation exist- 
ing in Cochin and coming into contact with the various leaders of public 
opinion there. All I can do is to give some general indication of what 
should be done. The country is passing today through rapid transitional 
phase and this inevitably provokes psychological and emotional responses 
in the people. The Indian States cannot escape these responses. It is 
desirable to understand these feelings and to meet them in so far as we 
can. A Government, however efficient it may be, loses its efficiency if 
it is not in line with popular sentiment. The psychological approach, 
therefore, is always important. 

1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. C.P. Karunakara Menon; Secretary, Madras Service Commission, 1932; Secre- 
tary, Development Department, Government of Madras, 1940; Regional Food 
Commissioner, Madras. 1943: later appointed Dewan of Cochin. 


269 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


2. You have already announced full responsible government for your 
State and set up a committee with that end in view. 3 This committee 
seems to have taken rather a long time to report. There appears no 
reason why it should not expedite this work and report soon. The sub- 
sequent steps, that is preparation of electoral rolls and elections could 
also be arranged fairly rapidly. The whole process should not take a 
long time. 

3. While this is done, something in the nature of an approach in the 
present seems desirable to fit in with the psychological atmosphere of 
today. What form exactly this should take it is a little difficult for me 
to indicate except that it must be appealing to the people that another 
substantial step has been taken towards responsible government. I under- 
stand that Mr. Gopalaswami Ayyangar has suggested that popular Minis- 
ters should be put in charge of Law and Order and Finance, but that 
there should be this reservation — that important matters are referred to 
the Dewan during this interim period. In effect the Government should 
function as an interim government dealing with all subjects in a joint 
way. In regard to some subjects like Law and Order and Finance, im- 
portant matters might be referred to the Dewan so as to avoid any 
wrong step being taken. 

I do not quite know how this will work out, but it seems a feasible 
proposition. 

You yourself have suggested something somewhat different, though 
in practice it may mean much the same thing. It is for you and your 
advisors to determine which way is more suitable at present. 

With all good wishes to you. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


lhc Governmcnt of t,le was carried on by the Maharaja through the 

Dewan in relation to “reserved subjects" and through ministers, responsible to 
the legislature, in relation to “transferred subjects.” A Legislative Council 
with a predominant non-official majority and elected on a very wide franchise 
had been constituted. 


270 


THE NORTH WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE 



THE NORTH WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE 


1. Note on the Situation in the N.W.F.P. 1 


1. In appraising the situation in the N.W.F.P. we have to take into 
consideration the state of affairs there as well as the state of affairs in 
India as a whole. The two are interrelated and affect each other. It is clear 
that the persons in the best position to judge of internal conditions in 
the N.W.F.P. are Badshah Khan, Dr. Khan Sahib, the Ministers and 
other leaders of the Khudai Khidmatgar movement. Badshah Khan, with 
his intimate knowledge of this movement and the position in the Pro- 
vince, is the best person to judge. Indeed any decision that may be made 
must have his agreement and sanction. Otherwise it will not prove to be 
effective. 

2. While the best judges of the position within the Province are neces- 
sarily Badshah Khan and others there, there are other factors which per- 
haps are not so clearly before them and which might help them to come 
to the right decision. I am stating below my own view of the situation as 
a whole for their consideration. But, as I have said above, the final deci- 
sion must necessarily rest with them. 

3. There is no doubt that the Governor and many of the Frontier 
officials have not only not cooperated with the Provincial Government 2 
but have actually sometimes obstructed its work. Their sympathies lie 
with the leaders of the Muslim League movement in the Frontier Pro- 
vince many of whom are old loyalists of the British Government with 
whom they have had previous contacts. The main urge, however, for 
them is an anti-Congress and anti-Khudai Khidmatgar urge and they can- 
not get rid of it. So long as these old elements continue in the Frontier 
in high office, there is going to be no new set-up there and no successful 
effort at carrying on a peaceful and progressive administration. These 
people will have to go. Indeed there is little doubt that they will go fairly 
soon. But some of them at least, or most of them, are likely to continue 
for another two or three months till final decisions are made. It is difficult, 
therefore, to have a new set-up during these two or three months, though 
it is possible for a change in Governorship to take place much sooner. 
We have thus to adapt ourselves to these conditions during these commg 

two months. 

1. New Delhi, 8 June 1947. Pyarelal Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. There was a Congress Ministry headed by Khan Sahib in the N.W.F.P. 
at this time. 


273 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


4. The Muslim League agitation in the Frontier was in many ways 
encouraged by these British and Indian officials. It could easily have been 
dealt with if this support had been lacking. 

5. A certain difficulty has arisen in the past few months in regard to 
these officials. It was well known that they were going, though the date 
was not fixed. Owing to public controversies about them the matter ceased 
td be one of removal of one or two particular men but became an issue 
affecting nearly all the officials there. The result was that even individuals, 
who might have been removed, continued. In any event they are nearly 
all leaving the Frontier soon and we must proceed on that basis. There is 
no particular point in our raising this issue of en masse withdrawal now. 
We may emphasise the cases of one or two particular individuals. 

6. Partly* due to the Muslim League agitation and partly to the insis- 
tence of the Governor, the question arose about, two months ago regard- 
ing fresh elections and Section 93 regime. 3 This was strongly objected 
to by us as not only being unconstitutional but a surrender to violence. 
The fact that election had been held a little over a year ago was pointed 
out and it seemed totally unnecessary to hold another election on the 
same issue. Any such election, it was stated, would lead to bloodshed on 
a big scale. The idea of holding elections or of having Section 93 was 
given up. 

7. Then the question of referendum came up not exactly on the Pakistan 
issue but in view of certain changes and developments in the all-India 
situation. Even then it was pointed out by me that such a referendum was 
unnecessary and undesirable and likely to lead to unfortunate consequ- 
ences. 4 In any event there could be no proper election till the Muslim 
League agitation was withdrawn completely and the consent of the Pro- 
vincial Government taken. 

8. Later the main plan for changes in India was developed. In this plan 
an opportunity was given to certain provinces or certain parts of the pro- 
vinces to opt out of the Indian Union. The result of this was likely to be 
that Western Punjab would secede from the Union and this would mean 
that the N.W.F.P. was physically cut off from the Indian Union. A new 
situation thus arose and it was again stated that in view of this new situa- 
tion it would be advisable to have a referendum in the Frontier in order 
to determine to which Constituent Assembly the N.W.F.P. desired to be- 

3. See Selected Works (Second Series), Vol. 2, pp. 326-328. 

4. See Selected Works (Second Series), Vol. 2, pp. 117-119. 


274 


THE NORTH WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE 


long. The proposal, therefore, was not just meant for the N.W.F.P., but 
became part of a larger plan which provided for referendum in the 
N.W.F.P., Baluchistan and Sylhet. It seemed a logical and reasonable 
proposal apart from the particular circumstances prevailing. Our attitude 
had been all along that we are not opposed to ascertaining the wishes of 
the people of the N.W.F.P. provided this was not a submission to violence 
and provided that this was part of a larger plan. It was difficult to oppose 
this proposal in theory in this context. Even then it was pointed out that 
the peculiar circumstances of the N.W.F.P. must be taken into considera- 
tion and in any event the assent of the Provincial Ministry was essential. 

9. The general plan was thus worked out aijd made public a week ago. 3 
This plan laid down that in the event of Western Punjab decided in favour 
of secession, the Frontier Province should have a referendum on the issue 
as to whether they would join the present Constituent Assembly of which 
they have been members, or the new Assembly that might be formed. 
Thus the question of having a referendum in the N.W.F.P. depended on 
certain previous decisions in the Punjab and Bengal. If those decisions 
were not taken in the Punjab and Bengal, then there is no question of 
referendum in the N.W.F.P. The issue is thus still open. But in all like- 
lihood parts of Bengal and the Punjab will decide in favour of secession 
and so we may take it as almost granted that the question will arise for 
decision in the N.W.F.P. 

10. The present decision is that the British Government and the Viceroy 
are definitely committed to this referendum. Some of us are also more or 
less committed, though we have always made it clear that the Provincial 
Government should have the final voice in agreeing or not to the referen- 
dum. In practice it may be said that we are largely committed to this plan 
as a whole including the referendum. In the Working Committee’s letter 
to the Viceroy last week 0 the only point raised was that the Frontier 
people should be allowed to vote for a sovereign State. 

11. The question of referendum, therefore, appears to be a settled one 
and it is not quite clear how we can get out of it. For the Viceroy it is 
still more difficult. Any change in the plan which has been produced 


5. The British Government’s plan for the constitutional transfer of power from 
British to Indian hands was officially announced in New Delhi on 3 June 1947 
which included a plan for referendum in the N.W.F.P. without any distur- 
bance of the existing Ministry to decide which of the two Constituent Assem- 
blies the Province would join. 

6. See ante, section 3, item 1. 


275 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


after long consultations and approval would in any event be difficult. If 
an attempt was made to change, strong objection would be taken by 
other parties and it will not be easy to justify that change. This may even 
lead to conflict on a big scale. We may, therefore, take it as a settled 
fact that a referendum will take place. 

12. It is proposed to have this referendum organised by British military 
officers to be imported from outside. Every effort will be made to main- 
tain peaceful conditions and prevent any violence or intimidation. The 
Provincial Government would be closely associated with the machinery 
for this referendum. 

13. Normally speaking I do not think there is much chance of any big 
violent conflict. But of this the provincial leaders are the best judges. 
Anyway every precaution would be taken to prevent this or to suppress it 
as soon as it arises. 

14. I do not know what the result of such a referendum will be. A num- 
ber of British officials from the Governor downwards, who are antagonistic 
to the Congress, have expressed their opinion that the chances are 50:50 
and that the referendum may well result in a victory for the Congress 
there though this is not by any means certain. 

15. The proposal made that the people should be allowed to vote for 
sovereign independence raises certain difficulties. The Viceroy said he can 
only agree if the parties agree. Apart from this, if once we accept the 
principle of sovereign independence being voted upon by a province, this 
will create complications in regard to some other provinces and many of 
the States. Indeed such a proposal was made for Bengal and ultimately 
rejected. It may also introduce an element of confusion in the voting 
when three issues are before the voter, i.e.> to vote for either Constituent 
Assembly or for sovereign status. Votes may well be split. 

16. Another suggestion has been made that the Frontier Congress should 
keep out of the referendum or waive the right to the referendum. This 
waiver, of course, means accepting the Muslim League’s dominance in 
the N.W.F.P. It is in effect a surrender to the Muslim League agitation 
or prospective agitation. Whether it will lead to peaceful conditions or 
not, it is difficult to( say. But I amagine that any such waiver or surrender 
is even more likely to lead to conflict and bloodshed because the Muslim 
League would celebrate this surrender as a great victory for the League 
and many of the Khudai Kidmatgars might not like this. 


276 


THE NORTH WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE 


17. A waiver of this type means giving victory to the League. They 
would be justified then in claiming that the present Ministry does not 
represent the bulk of the population. What will happen then, I do not 
know. But it seems difficult for the Provincial Ministry to continue after 
a decision has been given against them by a referendum or by a waiver 
of referendum. What arrangements can be made then for the carrying on 
of Government? Section 93 will be avoided. Possibly the question will 
immediately arise of another election to the provincial legislature because 
of all these difficulties. Having avoided the referendum, shall we then 
have to face an election which is much more complicated matter because 
of personal issues that are involved? Thus by not having the referendum 
we do not avoid trouble and difficulty and the Provincial Ministry cannot 
continue. The election takes place anyhow with all its possible evil con- 
sequences. 

18. It seems to me that even an avoidance of referendum will not ensure 
tranquillity in the Province. There are bound to be conflicts and bloodsh- 
ed. The only other course is a peaceful submission to the Pakistan idea, 
and I doubt very much if most of the Pathans will agree to it. 

19. We do not know what developments may take place during this 
month. I think that these developments might possibly affect the situa- 
tion to our advantage in some degree. It would be anyhow wrong to 
commit ourselves against the referendum without knowing these develop- 
ments. 

20. It is stated that there will be violence if a referendum is held. But 
even if a referendun^was not held, and perhaps more so then, there might 
be violence on a big scale. 

21. It must be remembered that the future of the N.W.F.P. for some 
considerable period is going to be decided. None of us can permit a wrong 
decision to be taken without fighting that to the utmost. To keep away 
from the referendum is to ensure a wrong decision, and to do so not by 
the ordinary democratic process! but by private arrangement. This seems 
to me a very dangerous procedure to follow both in regard to avoidance 
of violence 'and regarding our own future in the N.W.F.P. To fight demo- 
cratically and to be defeated does not weaken us for long and we can 
renew the struggle! in other ways later. But to give up without a struggle 
means a certain lack of integrity through fear of consequences and leads 
to the collapse of the organisation which was unable to face the issue. 

22. In view of all these circumstances, it seems to me that the only right 


277 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


course is for us to accept the referendum and to prepare for it with all 
our strength. We have a good chance of winning it and even if we lose 
by a small margin, we would have struck a big blow at Pakistan. We 
should go to this referendum on the cry that we want the largest measure 
of freedom and independence in the Frontier as also help to develop the 
Frontier’s resources. We shall neither get the help nor the freedom if we 
are allied to the Punjab which will dominate over the Frontier. But if we 
continue in the existing Constituent Assembly, we shall get the help and 
much more freedom and independence than the Punjab can give us. This 
is not a straight issue of sovereign independence but a slight variation of 
that theme which should prove helpful. In effect, after Pakistan comes 
into being in Western Punjab and the Frontier is cut off from India, the 
N.W.F.P. will inevitably have, because of this cutting off and other reas- 
ons, a very great deal of autonomy and independence. It may be pos- 
sible for us here to make this clear when the time comes for it publicly. 
That time can only come after the Punjab and others have made a deci- 
sion. 

23. I see no other course open to us in the Frontier. If there is risk in 
this course, there are far greater risks of bloodshed in other courses. The 
course suggested is a brave, frank course of accepting the battle peacefully. 
To give up the battle, when final decisions are being taken, will result in 
deep psychological injury to our people. 

24. Another factor to be borne in mind is the personality of the present 
Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten. He is obviously playing and going to play an 
important part in various developments. I have no doubt about his sincerity 
and bona fides and his desire to do the right thing. To some extent he is 
naturally bound by the past and the present set-up; but he is trying bis 
best to go ahead in the right direction. He realises the difficulties of the 
Frontier problem and wants to do everything in his power to solve them. 
I think he will prove helpful. He is convinced, however, that in the 
peculiar conditions that are arising in India now owing to possible seces- 
sion of some parts, a chance must be given to the Frontier people to 
decide themselves by means of a referendum. He has definitely committed 
himself to this and he cannot get out of it without grave injury to his own 
prestige and impartiality. He would probably prefer to resign than to face 
such a situation. 

25. I suggest that this note might be considered by Badshah Khan, Dr. 
Khan Sahib and other leaders in the Frontier. They might confer together 
and give us their own reactions. It is very necessary that Badshah Khan 
should come here himself for fuller discussions after he has consulted his 


278 


THE NORTH WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE 


colleagues. The meeting of the Working Committee and the A.I.C.C. next 
week affords a suitable opportunity for coming here. 6 In any event the 
matter is too vital to be disposed of without the fullest consultation and 
thought. Our future depends upon it and we dare not remain passive at 
such a time. I hope, therefore, that Badshah Khan will come to Delhi next 
week and that before he comes he will fully consult his colleagues in the 
N.W.F.P. 

6. The meeting of the Working Committee took place on 12, 13 and 16 June 
and that of the A.I.C.C. on 14 and 15 June 1947. 


2. To Mahatma Gandhi 1 


9.6.47 


Dear Bapu, 

I enclose 2 copies of a note 2 on the Frontier. You will deal with it as 
you think best. If it is to be sent to Badshah Khan, a messenger will have 
to take it. In any event Badshah Khan will 1 hope come here next week. 


Yours, 

Jawaharlal 


1. Pyarelal Papers. N.M.M.L. 

2. See the preceding item. 


3. The Approach to the Referendum 1 


The position is a rather complicated one but some facts arc clear enough. 
We have, willingly or unwillingly, accepted the referendum and this is 
going to take place. Even the British military officers selected to super- 
vise the referendum have been approved of by Dr. Khan Sahib Thus the 
choice is either to contest the referendum with vigour or to boycott it. 
In either event the procedure adopted will have to be carefully considered. 


1. Note, 13 June 1947. J.N. Collection. 


279 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


The boycott is not an easy weapon in regard to a referendum. It is 
difficult to say that we will not give our opinion on a particular issue 
referred to the electorate. Such a boycott works in some kind of a vacuum. 
Of course it may be said that the questions put are not proper and do not 
enable the electorate to give the answers they wish to give. This may be 
a legitimate argument but it does not take us far. In any event the result 
of a boycott is to ensure the victory of the Muslim League in the referen- 
dum. That necessarily leads to the inclusion of the N.W.F.P. in Pakistan. 
It becomes part of the new State. 

This will not be liked by a very large number of Pathans and they 
may start movements, nonviolent or violent, against the new State. But 
it will be no easy matter to get the Frontier out of Pakistan once it is 
definitely attached to it. 

Normally, therefore, a boycott should be ruled out. The other alter- 
native is to take part in the referendum. Badshah Khan appears to be 
of opinion that in present circumstances the Muslim League will raise 
the cry of Hindu domination and exploit Bihar occurrences. The pro- 
bability is that the Muslim League will win and at the same time the 
Khudai Khidmatgar movement will weaken or even crack up. 

Badshah Khan may or may not be right in his political analysis, but 
he understands more than any other person the psychology of his people 
and can represent this correctly. Therefore Badshah Khan’s views are of 
great importance. 

What is to be done in these circumstances? 

There is no doubt that in case Western Punjab is separated from India, 
the N.W.F.P. will be completely isolated from India. There will be a 
barrier between the two. Even if the N.W.F.P. joins the Union, it will 
have to do so on a basis somewhat different from the other provinces. 
It will be in a real sense a buffer State. Thus it deserves special treat- 
ment. It should have the fullest autonomy and it is possible that the 
tribal people may join it. 

Why should we not declare in a resolution of the Working Committee 
that the N.W.F.P. should in the circumstances enjoy the fullest freedom, 
and such help as we would be prepared to offer would depend on the 
choice of the Frontier’s people? Thus we give the right of self-determina- 
tion to these people. If we do so a vote for the present Constituent 
Assembly would mean a vote for self-determination and freedom. It is 
on this basis that people may be asked to vote. This will recognize the 
urge for Pathanistan and yet afford an opportunity to vote in the referen- 
dum. Propaganda can be carried on on this basis. 

A resolution is suggested for the Working Committee to pass. This 
will facilitate the approach to the referendum. 


280 


THE NORTH WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE 


4. To Eric Micvilfe 1 

New Delhi 
15 June 1947 

Dear Sir Eric, 

I have your letter of the 15th June. I am afraid I cannot send you any 
notes for a manifesto for the proposed referendum in the N.W.F.P. 2 This 
is a matter to be decided by the Frontier people themselves. I cannot 
even tell you at present what their general attitude is likely to be in 
regard to this referendum. We have got Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan here 
as well as one of the Ministers of the Frontier Government. We are 
conferring with them tomorrow in order to discuss this matter. I might 
mention that Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan has been specially authorised 
by the Congress Party in the legislature of the Province as well as by 
the larger body to decide on a policy to be pursued. 3 

2. There are some matters in connection with the proposed referen- 
dum which have been brought to our notice specially. There is the gen- 
eral question of a vast number of refugees who are voters. These run 
into tens of thousands. Most of them live in big camps at Patiala, Har- 
dwar, Alwar and some other places. How are they to vote? Then I 
have been given first-hand; information by reliable persons of propaganda 
being carried on by the adherents of the Muslim League in the Frontier 
Province to the effect that no refugee should return for the purpose of 
voting, and if he does so, it will be* at his peril. Indeed it has been said 
that no Hindu or Sikh should vote in the referendum, or else there will 
be a repetition of what happened in Hazara and D.I. Khan and else- 
where. These happenings, as you will remember, were of the most horri- 
ble and brutal kind. This kind of thing was being said openly in Bannu 
town and in one or two other places. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. J.N. Collection. 

2. Nehru had been asked to send a brief note setting out the general framework 
of his policy as regards the holding of the referendum in the North West 
Frontier Province to help Micville to comply with the Viceroy’s instructions 
to prepare a manifesto on the subject. 

3. The joint meeting of the Frontier Provincial Congress Committee, the Con- 
gress Parliamentary Party and the Red Shirt Commanders, convened on 12 
June at Peshawar, resolved after long deliberations to authorise Abdul Ghaffar 
Khan to take whatever action he thought best on the question of the 
referendum. This decision was endorsed by the Congress Working Com- 
mittee at its meeting on 16 June 1947 at New Delhi. 


281 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


5. Mountbatten's Note on Interview with Nehru 1 


I showed him the article in the Indian News Chronicle of the 23rd June, 
in which he was reported to have made the following; statements at Har- 
dwar: — 

1. The Frontier Congress will, in all probability, decide to boycott 
the proposed referendum. 

2. In the event! of a one-sided referendum, the present Ministry will 
resign and fight elections afresh on the issue of Pakistan versus 
Free Pathanistan. 

3. Whatever may be the immediate future of the Province, the free- 
dom : loving Pathans will continue their struggle for an indepen- 
dent Pathan State. 

I told him that Mr. Jinnah had last night protested to me about this, 
on the ground that statement No. 2 was a highly improper remark to 
make coming from a leader of Congress who had accepted that there 
should be no alternative for the N.W.F.P. except to join Hindustan or 
Pakistan. 

Pandit Nehru defended himself by saying that he had made no state- 
ment to the press, nor had he seen any pressmen. This statement ap- 
peared to have been extracted by a reporter from refugees with whom 
he had been in conversation, and did not represent either what he said 
or his views. I told him I would inform Mr. Jinnah accordingly. 

2. I told him that Mr. Mandal 2 had asked permission to address the 
Scheduled Castes in Sylhet on the subject of the referendum, and asked 
him if he had any objection. He shrugged his shoulders and said he 
did not mind particularly, but asked, while we were on the subject of 
Sylhet, why the Reforms Commissioner had excluded the labourers from 

1. New Delhi, 24 June 1947. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, PP- 
591-593. 

2. Jogendra Nath Mandal (1906-1969); elected member, Bengal Legislative Assem- 
bly, 1937; elected President, First Provincial Conference of the Scheduled Castes 
Federation, April 1945; Minister, Bengal Government, 1946; League’s nomi- 
nee in the Interim Government, October 1946- July 1947; elected member of 
the Pakistan Constituent Assembly and became its first President in August 
1947; Minister, Law and Labour, Pakistan Government, August 1947-October 
1950. 


282 


THE NORTH WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE 


taking part in the referendum. 3 I sent for Mr. V.P. Menon, who explain- 
ed the reasons to Pandit Nehru, and they arranged to meet subsequent- 
ly to go into the matter further. 

3. I gave him my painting of a proposed flag for the Dominion of India 
which I had designed. This consisted of a Congress flag with a small 
Union Jack in the upper canton. Since the Congress flag consists of three 
horizontal stripes, the Union Jack had been fitted into the exact width 
of the space between the stripes, which made the Jack one sixth of the 
total area of the flag instead of one quarter as in the case of Australia, 
etc. 

He took the flag away with him and said he would follow the matter 
up and let me know. 

4. I told him that Mr. Jinnah had asked me for advice as to where he 
should assemble the Pakistan Assembly. I said that I had strongly re- 
commended that it should be in Delhi in the first instance so that they 
could obtain the benefit of close contact with the Indian Constituent 
Assembly. 

Pandit Nehru said that he thought that there were a lot of advantages 
in this if accommodation difficulties could be overcome. I suggested that 
the Pakistan Constituent Assembly might use the Legislative Assembly 
Chamber since this was not being used by the Indian Legislature. He 
promised to follow the matter up and let me know. 

5. Finally, we talked about Kashmir. I told him I had arranged with 
the Maharajah to have a long talk with him on the last day (Sunday) — 
first an hour or so alone with him after luncheon, and then an hour or 
so with him and his Prime Minister after dinner. Unfortunately His High- 
ness had been indisposed and had had to take to his bed, and so the 
conversation could not take place. 

Pandit Nehru said that that was an old trick, which the Maharajah 
had played on him when he was going to meet him in Kashmir — he had 
on that occasion also had “a tummy ache”. 

I remarked that I did not think the colic was feigned, and that in any 
case I had managed to have a certain amount of conversation both with 


3. In Sylhet, as Muslims formed 54.27 per cent of the total electoral roll, Liaquat 
Ali suggested that the number of Muslim voters should be multiplied by a 
factor which would equate the voting strength of the Muslims with their 
popular strength. The Congress, on the other hand, claimed that the voters in 
the Labour and the Commerce and Trade constituencies of the district should 
be allowed to participate in the referendum. 


283 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

the Maharajah and Mr. Kak, the Prime Minister, though not together. 
The advice I had given to both of them independently was: 

(a) That Kashmir should not decide about joining any Constituent 
Assembly — till the Pakistan Constituent Assembly had been set up and 
the situation before them was a bit clearer. 

(b) That meanwhile they should make no statement about indepen- 
dence or about their intentions. 

(c) That they should go ahead and enter into “standstill” and other 
agreements with both new States. 

(d) That eventually they should send representatives to one Consti- 
tuent Assembly and join one of the two States, at least for defence, com- 
munications and external affairs. 

(e) That so far as possible they should consult the will of the people 
and do what the majority thought was best for their State. 

I said that I got the impression that the Maharajah and the Prime Mi- 
nister had separately agreed that this was sound advice; but both had 
stated that on account of the balance of population and the geographi- 
cal position in which they found themselves, any premature decision 
might have a very serious effect on their internal stability. 

Pandit Nehru agreed that my advice was sound and unexceptionable. 

6. He then asked me what luck I had about Sheikh Abdullah. I told 
him that my wife had had an invitation from Begum Sheikh Abduallah 
to have tea with her at her house, and that she had enclosed a letter 
from Pandit Nehru urging acceptance. I told him that this letter only 
arrived on Friday evening and that Sunday was being devoted to an 
expedition away from Srinagar; and the only spare time on Saturday 
had been taken up for visits to two hospitals which had not been in- 
cluded in the programme. The only way therefore that the Begum could 
have been seen, would have been to invite her up to the palace. This 
the Maharajah asked me not to do since he said she was indulging in 
political propaganda against him and it would be too awkward if she 
came. Her Excellency had therefore written to the Begum and explained 
her inability to accept her invitation. 

Pandit Nehru said he was sorry that I had been unable to solve the 
problem of Kashmir, for the problem would not be solved until Sheikh 
Abdullah was released from prison and the rights of the people were 
restored. He (Nehru) felt himself called upon to devote himself to this 
end, and he thought he would soon have to go to Kashmir to take up 
the cudgels on behalf of his friend and for the freedom of the people. 

I replied that both H.H. and the Prime Minister had particularly ask- 


284 


THE NORTH WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE 


ed that no Congress or League leaders should come and visit Kashmir 
until their decision had been announced, since it would gravely add to 
their troubles if they were to be subjected to political propaganda before 
a decision had been reached. As this did not appear to deter Pandit 
Nehru, I then pointed out that he really must look to his duty to the 
Indian people as a whole. There were four hundred millions in India 
and only four millions in Kashmir. He would soon be the Prime Minis- 
ter of an Indian Government, ruling at least two hundred and fifty mil- 
lions; and I would consider it highly reprehensible of him to desert his 
most important duties at the Centre to interest himself on behalf of four 
millions who might very well be going to join Pakistan and have nothing 
more to do with him. In fact I called upon him as a matter of duty not 
to go panning off to Kashmir until his new Government was firmly in 
the saddle and could spare his services. 

He reluctantly agreed that I was right, and took my advice in very 
good part. 


6. To Eric Mieville 1 2 

New Delhi 
25 June 1947 

Dear Sir Eric, 

Thank you for your letter of today’s date sending me the draft of a pro- 
posed poster in connection with the referendum in the N.W.F.P. - The 
only comment I have to make is that it might be better to make it clear 
that Dominion Status is for' the interim period; it is open to each Domi- 
nion to end that status if it so chooses. This may be done in a variety 
of ways. In the second line after “each having” and before “Dominion” 
might be added the words “for the present”. Or after “the British Com- 
monwealth of Nations” the following words may be added : “With pow- 
er to end this status later at their choice.” Some such words or any 
others conveying this sense would make the position clearer. I am mak- 
ing this suggestion for the Viceroy to consider. 

& Yours sincerely, 

Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. J.N. Collection. 

2. The poster to be displayed at the polling booths said among other things that 
the “plan for the partition of British India into two separate States— India 
and Pakistan — each having Dominion Status within the British Commonwealth 
of Nations” was announced by H.M.G. on 3 June 1947, and was accepted 
by the A.I.C.C. and the Council of the Muslim League. 


285 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


7. To Mahatma Gandhi 1 

30.6.1947 

Dear Bapu, 

You must have got the Viceroy’s letter inviting you to come at 10 a.m. 
tomorrow. He has also agreed to allow us to bring Alladi Krishnaswamy, 
Gopalaswamy and K.M. Munshi. I had mentioned these names rather 
casually in my letter to him as some of the people we would like to 
consult. I had not mentioned the names of our colleagues in the Cabinet 
as I took them for granted. Now I have written to him that he should 
permit me to consult them later and should give me a copy of the draft 
bill to show them. It is very unfair to leave them out of the picture in 
this vital matter. 

I do not know if you can come at 10 tomorrow. This will be incon- 
venient for you. We are likely to be there for 2 hours or more. If it is 
more convenient for you, you could come later, say at 11 or after. 

I enclose copies of letters I am sending to Badshah Khan and Khan 
Sahib in a separate envelope. 

Yours affectionately, 
Jawaharlal 

1. Pyarelal Papers, N.M.M.L. 


8. To Khan Sahib 1 


New Delhi 
30 June 1947 


My dear Khan, 

I enclose a copy of a letter I am sending to Badshah Khan. 2 This letter 
will give you information about the present position. I hope all of you 
will consider this carefully and not take any action which encourages 
the autocratic rulers of Afghanistan in their wild designs which can only 
injure them as well as us. We cannot admit Afghanistan’s right to any 
part of India. I want Badshah Khan and you particularly to fashion your 
movement so that nothing harmful is said by any of our people. This is 
no time also to attack British policy as a whole in the world. That policy 
is a changing one and we must not think of it in static terms. Needless 


1. J.N. Collection. 

2. See the following item. 


286 


THE NORTH WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE 


attacks do us no good and may injure us. Of course this does not mean 
that we are to refrain from criticising local happenings in the Frontier. 

2. Please let me know how things are shaping themselves and what 
you expect the future to be. How is the new Governor 3 behaving? Is he 
friendly to you or not? I met him here before he went and he seemed 
to me a fairly decent sort. But I do not know much about him. 

3. What do you intend to do after this one-sided referendum? We are 
all very much interested in this business and want to help you as far 
as we can. But as things are happening we cannot do very much. Still 
you will remember that we shall always do whatever we can to help you 
and the people of the Frontier. Please send an answer per bearer. 

Yours affectionately, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

3. Lieutenant-General Sir Rob Lockhart was Acting Governor of the N.W.F.P. 
from 26 June to 13 August 1947. 


9. To Abdul Ghaffar Khan 1 

New Delhi 
30 June 1947 

My dear Badshah Khan, 

We have had no news of you or about the Frontier Province since you 
left Delhi except what we have read in the newspapers. I shall be grate- 
ful to you if you could kindly send us full particulars of what the situa- 
tion is and what you expect to do in the near future. You can send your 
letter by the messenger who is taking this letter. 

2. A serious situation has arisen in Afghanistan in regard to the Fron- 
tier Province. I think I told you that the Afghan radio and press were 
carrying on a campaign for the separation of the Frontier Province from 
India with a view, no doubt, to its incorporation in Afghanistan. To 
begin with this was not apparently official. But lately it has become quite 
official and various demands are made to us and to the British Govern- 
ment. It is stated in these demands that the people of the Frontier Pro- 
vince are not Indians and the Province has nothing to do with India. It 


1. Pyarelal Papers, N.M.M.L. 


287 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


is in effect a part of Afghanistan and, therefore, the people of the Pro- 
vince should be given every opportunity to establish their independence 
and, if they so choose, to join Afghanistan. The* attitude you have taken 
up in regard to the referendum is partly supported and partly distorted 
so that Afghanistan’s claims can be put forward. 2 

3. I understand this matter has gone so far as to create a great deal 
of public agitation and the Afghan Government is bent on doing some- 
thing to further this agitation. The fact is Afghanistan is in a very diffi- 
cult position at present and is on the brink of economic collapse. Their 
tribal people are getting out of hand and they are frantically seeking to 
get a big loan from America. If this loan does not come, they will be 
in a very bad fix. Probably because of their difficulties, they want to 
divert their people’s attention to some adventure on the Indian frontier. 
They might encourage their tribes to make an incursion into India and 
incite the tribal people in India to join them. 

4. The situation is thus full of peril and there might be a great deal 
of trouble on the Frontier. Obviously if there is any kind of invasion 
of the Frontier from Afghanistan, it will have to be met by force and 
the army will be employed for the purpose with all its weapons. That will 
be unfortunate in itself and at the same time it will produce far-reaching 
consequences in the Frontier Province. 

5. The Afghan Government have further asked us to allow them to 
send a mission immediately to visit Peshawar and Delhi in order to 
meet the leaders of the Congress and the Muslim League and discuss the 
points they have raised. We cannot admit the right of any foreign Govern- 
ment to interfere in internal matters of India. That would be a very bad 
precedent and would give rise to international complications. Of course 
we are always willing to discuss matters of mutual concern as we have 
done in the past. Later on if the Afghan Government wants to send 
some representatives, we shall welcome them. But it is quite another 
thing for them to interfere in our internal arrangements and make vari- 
ous demands which are not in keeping with India’s sovereignty. We are. 
therefore, informing them that we cannot allow any delegation from 
them to come to India at this stage. 


2. In a statement issued on 24 June 1947 Abdul Ghnffar Khan appealed to all 
Pathans, who believed in a free Pathan State, not to participate in the re- 
ferendum. 


288 


THE NORTH WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE 


6. You will appreciate that this is a very serious matter involving not 
only India’s foreign policy but also the peace and future of the Frontier 
areas. I am, therefore, bringing this to your notice so that you may ap- 
preciate the difficulties of the situation and mould your own actions ac- 
cordingly. 

7. One of our difficulties naturally is that the Afghan Government is 
utilising and exploiting the attitude which you and your colleagues in 
the Frontier have taken up. 3 They do it, of course, not because they are 
anxious to see the Frontier free but because of their own designs and be- 
cause of their internal difficult situation. Vague reports have reached us 
that some Congress emissary or emissaries have gone from India to Kabul. 

I know of no such thing. It is possible, however, that some person may 
have gone from Peshawar to Kabul. 

8. When you were here I asked you whether you would like the Pushtu- 
speaking areas of India to be joined on to Afghanistan. You said that 
you would strongly disapprove of this because this would mean not free- 
dom but greater slavery than exists even now. Afghanistan is an auto- 
cracy and living conditions there are, as you know, very backward. If 
the Frontier Province was joined on to Afghanistan, it would also sink 
to that level both politically and economically and there would be great 
misery and chaos. What you wanted, you told me, was for a free Patha- 
nistan to be created in the sense of having full autonomy within its own 
area and then joining hands with the rest of India for defence, external 
affairs, and such like matters. It was obvious that a small Pathan area 
in the Frontier Province could not look after defence or external affairs; 
nor could it have a high standard of living and development without help. 
Further you told me that you were entirely opposed to the Frontier Pro- 
vince joining Pakistan. You couldn’t work with them. 

9. Anyway the position is this, as I understand it, that you do not wish 
to encourage in any way the desire of the Afghan Government to spread 
out and absorb the Frontier areas. We have been informing the Afghan 
Government that we cannot accept their argument about a change of the 

3. Inviting Muslim Leaguers in N.W.F.P. to sit with him to draft a constitution 
for Pathanistan, Abdul Ghaffar Khan said on 22 June 1947 that he was 
willing to come to a compromise on the basis of a free Pathan State. Qazi 
Ataullah, Revenue Minister, said: “The Pathans do not want to join Hindustan. 
Their goal is a free Pathan State for which they fought the mighty power ot 
British Imperialism.” On 27 June. Khan Sahib declared at a press conference 
that Free Pathan State was the only alternative. 


289 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


frontier line, nor can we agree to their interfering in any way in India’s 
domestic affairs. Any weakening on this issue would create enormous 
complications. Of course, there is a possibility of the Afghan Government 
creating trouble for us at the Frontier. If so we shall have to face it. 

10. As perhaps you know, we have been very generous to Afghanistan 
in supplying large quantities of arms, ammunitions etc. free of cost or at 
a reduced cost. We have given them free training for their officers and 
we have gone out of our way to provide foodstuff and cloth for them. 
All this we have done to gain the goodwill of Afghanistan, and it is very 
irritating now to find how they react to all this. Obviously the benefits 
they derive from us will be stopped if they create trouble. 


11. I would beg of you to consider all these matters and consult your 
colleagues about them also. These are highly secret matters and should 
not be published or publicly referred to. Only a few intimate and reliable 
persons should be consulted. But the general line should be laid down 
by you in public if you like without reference as to how this question 
has arisen. It would be unfortunate if the Afghan Government was en- 
couraged in its foolish adventures because of anything you said or did. 

12. I have discussed this matter with Gandhiji and he has suggested my 
writing to you. 

13. There is one other matter I should like to refer to. In a recent 
speech you are reported to have said that British policy was to create an 
anti-Soviet base in the Frontier Province. 4 I do not think this is quite cor- 
rect now though it was so in the past. In any event such statements create 
international complications and difficulties between various countries. The 
international situation is a very delicate one all over the world and has 
to be handled very carefully. It is safer and more desirable not to say 
anything which needlessly gives rise to trouble. We arc all closely fol- 
lowing international affairs and British and American and Russian policy, 
and we try to keep aloof from all Power groups. Any such references, 
however, lead some Powers to think that we have allied ourselves to a 
group, and that has unfortunate consequences. 


14. 


This letter has been dictated in some haste and I have been unable 


4. In a speech at Peshawar on 27 June 1947 Abdul Ghaffar Khan declared: 
. the British want to make the N.W.F.P. as a military base against Russia. 
In this eonnect'on the arrival of F.M. Montgomery in India and his meetings 
\-ith Mr. Jinnah are significant.” 


290 


THE NORTH WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE 


to say all that I wished to say. But I think I have said enougli to explain 
to you the delicate position that faces us and to inform you of the answer 
we have sent to the Afghan Government. I wanted you to have this back- 
ground of information so that you could prepare yourself for and judge 
subsequent developments; also so that you might be able to give the cor- 
rect lead to your people. We have to be careful lest in our dissatisfaction 
with any policy of the British Government we might do something which 
is injurious to India as a whole and to the Frontier Province especially. 
We would then be out of the frying pan into the fire. 

15. I wish I could meet you and discuss all these matters with you. 
But I fear that is not possible now or in the near future. If, however, 
there is any important matter that you wish to refer to me, I hope you 
will send a letter by messenger. 


Yours affectionately, 
Jawaharlal 


10. On Propaganda by Afghanistan 1 


The Hon’ble Member for External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations 
said that about a month ago the press and the radio in Afghanistan had 
started a campaign giving prominence to Afghanistan’s interests in the 
North West Frontier and the claim was made that Pathans were Afghans 
rather than Indians and they should have the utmost freedom to decide 
their own future and should not be debarred, as the proposed referendum 
would appear to do, from deciding either to form a separate free State 
or to rejoin their motherland, viz. Afghanistan. These claims had later 
been taken up on an official level with H.M.G. and the Government of 
India. The Government of India had refuted this irredentist claim of 
Afghanistan to the area lying between the Durand line and the Indus 
river, and had pointed out that the issue regarding an independent Pathan 
State was a matter entirely for the Government of India and the Afghan 

J. Remarks at a Cabinet meeting on 4 July 1947. The Transfer of Power 1942-7 , 
Vol. 11, p. 878. 


291 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


Government had no locus-standi. H.M.G.’s Minister at Kabul 2 had men- 
tioned the possibility that the Afghan Government's object might be to 
divert public attention in Afghanistan from the internal economic situa- 
tion which was precarious. 

2. Giles Frederick Squire (1894-1959); joined Indian Civil Service 1920; Minis- 
ter to Afghanistan, 1943-48; Ambassador to Afghanistan, 1948-49. 


It. To Khan Sahib 1 

New Delhi 
5th July 1947 

My dear Khan, 

Thank you for your letter of the 2nd July which you sent in answer to 
mine. I fully .appreciate what you say. I only wish we could help you in 
your present difficulties. We have difficulties enough here from all quar- 
ters, but I realise that for the moment your difficulties arc greater than 
ours. We are anxiously waiting for news of what happens in the Frontier 
Province during the next few days. Rest assured that our thoughts arc 
with you and such help as we can give is always at your disposal. 

As I suggested previously in my letter, if there is any important com- 
munication, I hope you will send it to me by messenger. 

Please convey my regards to Badshah Khan and your other colleagues. 

Yours affectionately, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 


12. Mountbatten’s Note on Interview with Nehru 1 


1. I told him that Sir Olaf Caroe had written asking whether Pandit 

j. 8 July 1947. Lord Mountbatlen Papers, Rroadlands Archives, Hroadlands, 
Romsey, Hampshire. Paragraphs I and 4 arc printed in The Transfer of Power 
1942-7 , Vol. 12, pp. 6-7. 


292 


THE NORTH WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE 


Nehru would agree that Mahbub Ali 2 should be shown a copy of Mr. 
Justice Clarke’s 3 4 finding, and would further agree that lie might be given 
a copy to keep with his own records. Nehru was very generous about 
it and said that he had already given personal publicity to this finding 
and was only too glad that Mahbub should have it. 

2. I discussed with him the question of an increase in the strength 
of the Assam Rifles, and he reminded me that this matter had been 
raised in Cabinet and the decision had been to send the whole file to 
the Finance Member where it now was. 

3. I mentioned to him the request of the Catholic Bishop of Lucknow 1 
to be allowed to bring in a number of Italian priests. He said that two 
or three months ago he had been approached by (or on behalf of) the 
Bishop, and that he had given instructions for the E.A. Department to 
forward the request to the Home Department saying that so far as they 
were concerned it could be approved. 

4. Nehru complained about Sir C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar’s* gratuitously 
insulting remarks about India having established diplomatic relations 
with Soviet Russia. 5 I told him it was my intention to invite Sir C.P. 
to come and see me in the near future to try and persuade him to join 
the Dominion of India on the basis of the three subjects of Defence. 
External Affairs and Communications, which Pandit Nehru had told me 
at yesterday’s interview that the Congress Party were now prepared to 
accept as a basis of relationship between the Dominion of India and 
such States. I said I would certainly take up this question with Sir C.P. 
then. Pandit Nehru said that the basic difficulty with Sir C.P. was that 
he had a very inflated opinion of his own importance, was always taking 
offence unless he was played up to, and seemed to want to get into the 
news gratuitously. I promised to try and get hold of Sir C.P. as soon 
as I could without making it a matter of urgency. 


2. Mahbub Ali, the Political Agent in Malakand, was exonerated of misconduct 
in failing to prevent an attack by the tribesmen on Nehru and his party on 
his visit to the North West Frontier Province in October 1946. 

3. Reginald Clarke; practised at the Rangoon Bar, 1924-41; served in the army 
in Burma and India, 1942-44; Judge, Madras High Court, 1944-48; Judge of 
Clerkenwell, Middlesex, 1955-66. 

4. Sydney Altred Bill. 

5. On 6 July 1947, C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar declared: “. . .Travancorc cannot be 
found to join a dominion whose leaders have at this critical juncture in world 
history established diplomatic relations with the Soviet Republic.” 


293 


' .s - 

. 




8 

DEFENCE POLICY 








DEFENCE POLICY 


1. To Padma Shamsher Jung Bahadur Rana 1 

Dated 14-6-47 

My dear Maharaja Sahib, 

The Bihar Government propose to increase their military police force 
to the extent of about 2,000 men and, for this purpose, they would like 
to take as many Gurkha ex-soldiers as may be available. The Prime Mi- 
nister of Bihar has approached the Government of India with a request 
that the necessary permission may be secured from the Nepal Govern- 
ment. The proposal has, I think, certain advantages both for the Bihar 
Government and for the Gurkha ex-soldiers, and I trust you will be 
pleased to give your consent to it. 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. Ministry of External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, File No. 4(3) 
CA/47, p. 7/corr., National Archives of India. 


2. Interviews with Field Marshal Lord Montgomery 1 


I 

I accompanied the Chief of the Imperial General Staff when he called 
on Pandit Nehru this afternoon. After exchange of courtesies, in the course 
of which Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery told Mr. Nehru that he 
desired to help India in any way possible, the question of Gurkha troops 
was raised. Viscount Montgomery said that he had been empowered by 
the Prime Minister to come to an arrangement with Mr. Nehru about the 
employment of Gurkha troops in the British army, to the extent and on 
the lines with which the Government of India were familiar, from the con- 
versations which Major General Lyne and I had had with them in March 

1. Held on 23 ana 24 June 1947. Here are printed two reports — one written by 
Terence Shone and the other by Nehru. Terence Shone was present at the 
interviews. Both reports are printed in The Transfer of Power 1942-7 , Vol. 11 
at pp. 617-619 and 721-726 respectively. 


297 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


and April. Viscount Montgomery made it clear that this was a matter on 
which an urgent decision was needed; he was making arrangements to 
place the British army on a peacetime footing and it was essential to know 
the position as regards the Gurkha battalions which His Majesty’s Gov- 
ernment wished to employ. There had been a long delay since Sir Girija 
Bajpai and Major General Lyne had gone to Kathmandu in April together 
to obtain the consent of the Nepalese Government to the employment of 
Gurkha troops in both the Indian and the British armies. The British 
military delegation, which it was proposed should come out to Delhi to 
make a concerted plan with the Indian military authorities, had been 
held up, pending the agreement of the Government of India to grant the 
necessary facilities for the employment of Gurkha troops by His Majesty’s 
Government. Viscount Montgomery was anxious that it should start work 
as soon as possible, and before the division of the Indian army took 
place, as that was likely to complicate the preparation of the plan for 
employing Gurkhas. 

2. Mr. Nehru spoke at some length of the difficulties which had arisen 
over this question both in Delhi, with his colleagues, and with regard 
to the Nepalese Government, who had been unwilling to define their 
attitude. He indicated that it was not a matter which he wanted to be 
raised again in the Cabinet; the Cabinet was tending more and more to 
work in two parts; presently there would no doubt be changes of per- 
sonnel. (I fancy that in saying this, he meant to convey his reluctance to 
commit any future government of the Indian Union. His attitude, while 
perfectly friendly, was at first unforthcoming; and he did not mention 
that the visit of Sir G. Bajpai and Major General Lyne to Kathmandu 
had resulted in a definition of the Nepalese Government’s attitude. He 
did not, however, allude to the report which we have heard Sir G. Bajpai 
gave him after his return, to the effect that the Nepalese Government 
would not be averse from the employment of Gurkhas in the Indian army 
alone; nor did he say that the Indian army would now want to employ 
afi the existing Gurkha battalions, as we had some reason to believe he 
might. ) 

3. I interposed at this stage to say that we had understood from Major 
General Lyne, who had acted in the closest collaboration with Sir G. 
Bajpai throughout the proceedings in Kathmandu, that the Maharaja of 
Nepal had made a very definite statement regarding the attitude of his 
Government, and that he would welcome the proposals for employing 
Gurkha troops in both armies, if agreement w'ere reached between the 
Government of India and His Majesty’s Government. We had taken par- 
ticular care to act in the closest collaboration with the Government of 


298 


DEFENCE POLICY 


India in our approach to the Nepalese Government, and we were now 
desirous of coming to an agreement with the Indian authorities without 
further delay. 

4. Viscount Montgomery made it clear that he did not wish the matter 
to be decided by the Indian Cabinet if that presented difficulty; he would 
be satisfied if he could obtain a satisfactory assurance from Pandit Nehru. 
He pressed Pandit Nehru to give this assurance before he left Delhi, in 
order that he might be able to inform the Prime Minister. 

5. Pandit Nehru, whose attitude became rather more forthcoming to- 
wards the end of the conversation, said he must consult some of his col- 
leagues. Viscount Montgomery urged Pandit Nehru to do this without de- 
lay and said he would be glad to call on Pandit Nehru at any time or 
place convenient to him tomorrow, to hear his answer. 

6. I told Pandit Nehru that Viscount Montgomery was lunching with 
me tomorrow and that I hoped he would come too and would be able 
to give us an answer by then. Pandit Nehru accepted the invitation but 
did not promise a reply by then. 

7. Viscount Montgomery then raised the question of British troops in 
India. Was it correct that Pandit Nehru wished them to be withdrawn on 
the transfer of power, on 15th August? Pandit Nehru replied in the affir- 
mative. Viscount Montgomery said that after the transfer of power, 
British troops would be in India merely as sojourners; it would not be 
possible to withdraw them all at once; the plan he had been working 
on was for complete withdrawal by June, 1948, but he wished to get the 
British troops out as soon as possible and the plan could be speeded up 
to make withdrawal complete by the end of February, 1948. Pandit 
Nehru agreed. Viscount Montgomery said it was important for him to 
know whether there was any likelihood of the Government of the Indian 
Union changing their minds and asking for British troops to remain. 
Pandit Nehru said “we shall not ask you to stay”. 

8. It was pointed out to Pandit Nehru that the forthcoming withdrawal 
of British troops was an additional reason for reaching an early agree- 
ment about the employment of Gurkhas. 

9. The conversation then turned to the arrangements for the division of 
the Indian army, in regard to which Pandit Nehru’s ideas seemed to be 
rather nebulous and impractical. 


299 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


10. Before we took our leave, there was some general talk about con- 
ditions in India with particular* reference to the division of the country. 
Viscount Montgomery congratulated Pandit Nehru on the fact that the 
Indian leaders had reached agreement. Pandit Nehru spoke of the great 
amount of work to be done in connexion with the division of India, and 
of the relative poverty of Pakistan, industrially, as compared with the 
Indian Union. But Pakistan would possess many of the most productive 
food-growing areas, which showed how necessary it was for the two parts 
of India to have good relations. He also alluded to the French and Por- 
tuguese colonies in India which, he said, would inevitably come into the 
Indian Union sooner or later. He spoke of M. Baron’s 2 “strange” proposal 
that France should continue to exercise some sort of cultural control in 
the French colonies; and he said that the Portuguese title to Goa derived 
from a Papal Bull. The Government of India had made an approach to 
the Vatican on this through the Catholic Primate in India. The Vatican, 
it appeared, were more concerend with the maintenance of their religious 
institutions throughout India than with the question of Goa itself. 

II 

Field Marshal Montgomery came to see me yesterday, accompanied by 
the U.K. High Commissioner Sir Terence Shone. He told me that as head 
of the British army he was arranging for the complete withdrawal of 
British troops from India. He intended beginning this process on the 15th 
August. He w r anted to do so as rapidly as possible, but there were shipping 
and other difficulties which would delay the process. In any event, he said 
that the end of February 1948 was the final date for the withdrawal of 
the last soldier of the British army from India. 

2. He asked me if I was agreeable to this withdrawal. I said I was 
entirely agreeable to the withdrawal as soon as possible. I could not fix 
any definite date, as this would depend on various facilities. A few weeks 
this way or that way would not matter, but I hoped that the withdrawal 
would be speedy and complete. 

3. He asked me if there was any chance of our changing our minds 
later and asking some British troops to be left in India. If this hap- 
pened it would upset his programme. I told him that there was not the 
least chance of this happening and we wanted British troops in India 
to be taken away completely. 

2. Governor of the French territories in India. 


300 


DEFENCE POLICY 


4. He then spoke to me about the British proposal about taking Gur- 
kha troops in the British army. This, of course, had been discussed 
previously with Major General Lyne, who came here some months 
back. It had been before the Cabinet on two or three occasions and it was 
in this connection that Sir Girija Shankar Bajpai and Brigadier Rudra had 
visited Kathmandu, on behalf of the Government of India. 

5. The position was that the Government of India had agreed to the 
inclusion of Gurkha battalions — probably eight in number — in the Indian 
army, on the express understanding that they would be officered by In- 
dian officers or possibly Gurkha officers. This had been agreed to on 
behalf of the Nepalese Government informally. 


6. As regards the employment of Gurkha troops in the British army, 
no decision had so far been reached, though some light had been thrown 
on the attitude of the Nepalese Government by the visit of Sir Girija 
Shankar Bajpai and Brigadier Rudra to Nepal. 

7 Field Marshal Montgomery pointed out that the British Govern- 
ment were very anxious for a decision in principle of this matter and 
their plans were hung up because of this. Also, in view of thc < ; hv,su ’ n 
of the Indian army which was now taking place, it might be difficult to 
tackle this question at a later stage when facilities for doing so might 
not be forthcoming. Therefore, a quick decision by us was necessary. 
That decision need be only of the principle involved and not of any de- 
tails. He did not want any formal decision either of the Cabinet. He is 
satisfied if I could give the assurance and he would communicate it to 
his Prime Minister and go ahead with the proposal. This meant tnat 
some representatives of the British War Office would visit India m the 
near future and discuss the matter more fully with representatives of 
the Government of India or our Defence Department. Later the two 
could go to Kathmandu for final discussions and decisions. 

8. I told the Field Marshal that while we were anxious to meet the 
wishes of H.M.G., there were considerable difficulties in our way an 
many' questions of principle were involved. I could not possibly, there- 
fore give him any answer at that stage committing our Government. 
Indeed, it was impossible for me to commit the future Dominion Gov- 
ernment of India as that has not been formed. This did not seem to 
worry the Field Marshal and he said that my own assurance was quite 
enough for him. Ultimately, T said that I would consider the matter fur- 
ther, consult some of my colleagues and give him our reactions the ne.\ 

day, that is today. 


301 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


9. Having consulted a number of my colleagues this morning, I met 
the Field Marshal this afternoon. Sir Terence Shone was also present. 
I told him that Gurkha troops especially, and, to some extent the whole 
Indian army, had become unpopular because of their use for imperial 
purposes by the British Government in the past. A year ago Gurkha 
troops came into conflict with Indonesians and there was much resent- 
ment in Indonesia against Gurkhas. 3 Anything that we might do and 
which might lead to a continuation of the old tradition of employment 
of Gurkha troops for imperial purposes would be subject to adverse com- 
ment in India. While the present was no doubt different from the past 
and the future was likely to be still more different, it was the past that 
had produced the present psychological approach of our people. They 
would judge every action by their past and any hang-over from the past 
would be objected to. It would be looked upon as a continuation of the 
old imperialist method of holding down colonial territories. It might also 
appear as a continuation of the imperialist link with India. We were 
entirely opposed to any such thing, and would object strongly to the 
use of any troops, much more Gurkha troops, against any people strug- 
gling for their freedom. “What were the Gurkha troops required for?” 
I asked. 

10. The Field Marshal said that they were required as a reserve for 
emergencies and to carry out the British commitments in the Far East. 
These troops were not to be used locally and certainly not against any 
people’s movement for freedom. They were not to be used at all in fact, 
unless war came. Malaya was a suitable place for them to be stationed; 
otherwise, they had nothing to do with Malaya. He told me how Gurkhas 
had been misjudged in Indonesia, as they really helped in keeping the 
peace and preventing grave developments. So also in Syria, Sir Terence 
Shone added, where tho Gurkhas became very popular with the people. 

11. I said that we could not come in the way of any arrangement be- 
tween the U.K. and Nepal, as Nepal was an independent country; but, 
owing to the geographical situation of Nepal, surrounded as it was by 
India, certain facilities were required of us. What were these facilities? 
He said, in the main, they required transit facilities, not for troops as 
such, but for individuals or groups of Gurkhas travelling as civilians 
across India. There might also be some facilities for transfer of moneys 
from the Gurkha soldiers to their country. Apart from this, practically 

3. On 29 September 1945, Indian troops, including the Gurkhas, had landed in 
Indonesia to suppress the nationalist movement at Surabaya and there had 
been fierce fighting between the Gurkhas and the Indonesians. 


302 


DEFENCE POLICY 


nothing more was required of us at a later stage. To begin with, of 
course, there would have to be some kind of a division of the present 
Gurkha battalions in India. They did not propose to have any training 
or big recruiting centres in Nepal. At the most, they would have some 
recruiting agents in Nepal for replacements in the future. Training would 
take place where the battalions were stationed normally. As soon as 
these battalions were separated from the Indian army, they will be taken 
away to Malaya and lodged there. Immediately arrangements will be 
made for them in Malaya. 

12. He pointed out the grave man-power difficulty of the U.K. leading 
to the necessity of their retaining Gurkha troops in South-East Asia for 
emergencies, notably war. He hoped they would never be used for any 
other purpose. They naturally turned to the Gurkhas because of their 
past association with them in the British army. He referred to our tak- 
ing Gurkhas in the Indian army. 

13. I pointed out that though Nepal was an independent country, it 
was very closely allied to India in culture and tradition and we did not 
look upon it as a foreign country. It was natural therefore for us to deve- 
lop the closest bonds with it and I hoped that this would grow closer 
still in the future. That did not apply to any other country in regard to 
Nepal, though we recognised the long-standing association of the Gur- 
khas with the British Indian army. 

14. Our talk ranged over many matters and I pointed out to the Field 
Marshal the psychological background of the problem and how the 
average Indian must necessarily look upon any such agreement with sus- 
picion and how it might be misunderstood in other countries also, espe- 
cially of Asia. I then said that it might become a precedent. The Bri- 
tish army might think of recruiting troops from the North-West tribal 
areas, the Afridis, etc., and might come to terms with Pakistan. The Field 
Marshal said that this was quite out of the question. They never thought 
of it and they did not propose to think of it. The Gurkhas stood quite 
apart from others for many reasons and on no account would this be 
treated as a precedent. Indeed, he was prepared to guarantee that no 
other arrangement would be arrived at by the British Government in re- 
gard to any part of India as a whole without the consent of the Indian 
Union, or Greater India as he called it. He was quite emphatic that the 
Gurkha matter could not and must not be treated as a precedent. 

15. I suggested to him if it would at all be feasible for all the Gurkha 
regiments to be formally incorporated in the Indian army and, then 


303 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


some of them loaned out to the British army. In fact, they will be under 
the British army, but they would technically belong to the Indian army. 
He said this was a difficult and complicated matter and probably not 
feasible. All manner of confusion might arise. 

16. I asked him what would be the primary allegiance of a Gurkha 
soldier serving in the British army. He said that while the soldier would 
obviously be under the discipline of the British army, his primary alle- 
giance would be to Nepal and nothing could or should be done which 
might come in the way of that allegiance. 

17. Again, I pointed out, the fact that Gurkhas were employed both 
by India and by the United Kingdom would produce confusion in peo- 
ples’ minds. The Field Marshal thought that there was no particular 
reason why all this could not be clarified in subsequent discussions. For 
the present, he wanted a general assurance of an agreement on princi- 
ple, so that he could go ahead. 

18. I pointed out that the Nepalese Government had, while expressing 
their willingness to allow Gurkhas to serve both in the Indian and the 
U.K. army, made it perfectly clear that they must not be regarded as 
mercenaries and must not be used against each other or against any 
popular movement. 1 He agreed that this could be clarified later. 

19. After a considerable discussion of various aspects of the question, 

I told him that we felt reluctant to agree to his proposals because of a 
large number of implications involved, but we were anxious not to put 
any difficulties in the way of the U.K. or of Nepal, if they wanted to 
come to an agreement. Therefore, taking everything into consideration, 
we were prepared to give them the facilities for transit, etc., asked for, 
subject to further consideration of details and an agreement with the 
Nepalese Government. He said that that was all he wanted for the pre- 
sent and he could proceed immediately on this assumption. He was go- 
ing to inform his Prime Minister accordingly and probably in the course 

4. At a meeting held at Kathmandu on 1 May 1947 between the representatives 
of Uic British Government, the Government of India and the Government 
of Nepal, the Prime Minister and Supreme Commander-in-Chief of Nepal 
stated that he would welcome the proposals to maintain the Gurkha connec- 
tion with the armies of the United Kingdom and India “if the terms and 
conditions at the final stage do not prove detrimental to the interest or 
dignity of the Nepalese Government” and “men of the Gurkha regiments 
are willing so to serve if they will not be looked upon as distinctly mercenary. 


304 



AT THE A.I.C.C. SESSION, NEW DELHI, 15 JUNE 1947 



WITH FIELD MARSHAL LORD MONTGOMERY, NEW DELHI, 23 JUNE 1947 


DEFENCE POLICY 


of ten days or so a small commission of two or three persons might 
come to India from the British War Office to discuss this matter fur- 
ther. He hoped that these discussions will be carried out quietly without 
much fuss and later the venue would be transferred to Kathmandu. I 
said that we were frightfully busy at present with this partition and divi- 
sion of the army, etc., and it might be better to postpone this for a 
while. He said that we were not likely to be less busy later on and when 
the British army and the British element in the Indian army were leav- 
ing India it would be more difficult. Therefore, it is better to do it as 
soon as possible in a quiet way without any fuss. 

20. I told him that we had considered this question in isolation from 
the other problems that might arise in regard to the relations of India 
with Britain, though, of course, it was a part of those probler s. Possi- 
bly, this may be incorporated in any future settlement or kept apart, as 
might be the better course. Further, I again made it clear to him that it 
was beyond my power or authority to commit the future Dominion Gov- 
ernment to any course of action. 

21. He said that he thoroughly appreciated this, but he was quite con- 
tent with my personal assurance. Indeed, he did not want a written re- 
ply even and an oral answer was enough for him to proceed. He ex- 
pressed his gratitude for our agreeing to give the transit facilities the 
U.K. Government had asked for. 

22. There the conversation ended. Presumably, some representatives 
of the War Office are likely to come to India soon to pursue this matter 
further. They are not likely to be any very senior officers. The Field 
Marshal said that he would send a colonel and one or two others. 

23. Field Marshal Montgomery told me that in case we required his 
services in any way in future he would be glad to come to India to ad- 
vise us, but, of course, he would only come if invited by us, and not 
otherwise. 


305 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


3. To Field Marshal Lord Montgomery 1 


New Delhi 
24th June 1947 


My dear Field Marshal, 

Thank you for your letter of the 24th June which I have just received. 2 
As I told you, we have approached this question with every desire to 
meet the wishes of the British Government. We have our difficulties 
and we do not wish to do anything which might perhaps add to them 
in future. I am glad, however, that in this matter there has been agree- 
ment in principle as you have informed the Prime Minister of Great 
Britain. The details will have to be worked out in consultation with re- 
presentatives of the War Office. 

2. It has been a great pleasure to meet you. I have long been looking 
forward to doing so. I should have liked to have had occasions to see 
more of you, but I hope that the future may bring additional meetings. 

With all good wishes, 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, pp. 609-610. 

2. In his letter of 24 June 1947, Montgomery mentioned that as desired by 
Attlee he came to an arrangement with Nehru concerning the grant ot 
facilities for the employment of Gurkha troops in British India. He had 
telegraphed to the War Office to send a mission to India to settle the details 
and then to proceed to Nepal with Nehru’s mission to get the agreement of 
the Nepalese Government. 


4. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

5th July 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

You mentioned to me some names for the post of Commander-in-Chief 
of the army of the Indian Union. At that time T expressed my prefer- 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 11, p. 911. 


306 


DEFENCE POLICY 


ence for General Slim. 2 I have now consulted some of my colleagues 
also and they would very much like General Slim to assume this charge. 

I am writing this to you in some haste as perhaps you might like to 
mention this to General Ismay before his departure for London. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

2. Field Marshal William Joseph, first Viscount Slim (1891-1970); joined 6th 
Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army; commanded Fourteenth Army in Burma in 
the Second World War; Commander-in-chief, Allied land forces, South Hast 
Asia, 1945-46; Chief of Imperial General Staff, 1948-52; Governor-General 
of Australia, 1953-60. 


5. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
11th July 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Sardar Baldev Singh has just shown me your letter to him, dated the 
11th July, and the draft of the statement you propose to issue asking the 
British personnel to stay on for the interim period during the reconsti- 
tution of the armed forces. 2 

You know that we attach the greatest importance to the rapid nation- 
alisation of the defence services. It was our original plan that this should 
be completed by June 1948. The partition activities have come in the 
way, but, nevertheless, I trust that nationalisation will be pushed on as 
rapidly as possible. It is incongruous for the army of a free country not 
to have its own officers in the highest ranks. As soon as India becomes 
a Dominion the control of the army naturally fully rests with the Domi- 
nion Government. I take it that this is clear; but some confusion has 
arisen owing to the process of division going on. This process will not, 

I presume, lessen in any degree the control of the army by the Domin- 
ion Government as well as the rapid Indianisation of the army. 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 12, pp. 105-106. 

2. Mountbalten's draft was based on the fear that there was a serious risk of a 
breakdown of administration if large numbers of trained officers were suddenly 
withdrawn. He issued the appeal with the approval of Nehru and Jinnah. 


307 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


I entirely agree with you that during the interim period the services 
of the British officers and technical specialists will be required. We shall 
welcome them. But I trust that when this interim period is over, and the 
date fixed for it is the 31st March 1948, the number required will be 
greatly reduced. A sentence in your statement about large numbers of 
British personnel volunteering might give rise to the impression that we 
are continuing a very large number of British officers rather indefinitely. 
This would be unfortunate and will be criticised. 

I am anxious that senior Indian officers should be associated imme- 
diately with work at the topmost level. I am rather surprised that no 
promotions have been made among them during the last few months, 
although that was the recommendation of the Nationalisation Committee. 3 
I do not suppose that promotion would have come in the way of partition. 
It is not merely a question of promotion but of association at high levels. 

I should have liked the Armed Forces Reorganisation Committee 4 also 
to have senior Indian officers associated with it. This seems to me not 
only psychologically but also practically necessary. They will have to 
assume responsibility soon and the sooner they begin to discharge it 
the better. 

I am told that a number of senior officers and others employed in 
the Defence Department have opted for service in Pakistan. Those who 
have done so should not serve in any committee for partition, except 
as representatives of Pakistan. Indeed, I would suggest that the time 
has come for all persons who have opted for Pakistan to transfer their 
services forthwith to working for Pakistan. It is incongruous and it will 
lead to difficulties if they continue to serve in our present departments. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


3. The Armed Forces Nationalisation Committee was set up in November 1946 
to suggest ways and means of speedy nationalisation of the armed forces. 
Gopalaswamy Ayyangar was its chairman and H.N. Kunzru, Mohammad 
Ismail, Sampuran Singh, three senior Indian officers and a senior British officer 
members. 

4. On 30 June 1947 the Partition Council set up an Armed Forces Reconstitu- 
tion Committee “to make proposals for the division of the existing armed 
forces of India”, including the various installations, establishments and stores 
owned by the Defence Department of the Government of India. The Com- 
mittee consisted of Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck, Chairman; Vice- 
Admiral Geoffrey Miles; Air Marshal H.S.P. Walmslcy; Lt. General Arthur 
F. Smith; Mohammad Ali, Financial Adviser, War and Supply, Military Finance 
Department; G.S. Bhalja, Additional Secretary, Defence Department; Colonel 
H.V.S. Muller, Secretary. 


308 


DEFENCE POLICY 


6. Arthur Smith’s Note on Interview with Nehru 1 


1. Pandit Nehru did not seem to understand the sequence of events 
regarding the progress of nationalisation. He had forgotten that the 
Indian Cabinet, some weeks ago, agreed that rapid nationalisation to 
effect completion by June 48, should be stopped, and that we should 
revert to the normal rate of nationalisation. I explained to him that it 
was quite impossible both to reconstitute the Armed Forces and to pro- 
ceed with rapid nationalisation at the same time. 

Pandit Nehru insisted that Indian officers should be promoted to the 
highest ranks. I explained to him the need for centralised control regard- 
ing promotion and moves, and that this was a matter which he should 
discuss with the Commander-in-Chief designate of (the Union of) In- 
dia, and that it would be necessary to balance up the national demands 
to have Indian Generals, with the practical necessity of having senior 
British officers in the most responsible posts during the early stages of 
reconstitution. 

2. Out of this discussion emerged the fact that Pandit Nehru did not 
appear fully to have grasped that operational control of the Army in 
(the Union of) India would be the responsibility of the Dominion Gov- 
ernments and not of the Supreme Commander after August 15th. He 
referred to possible trouble in Calcutta, and I explained to him the 
system of command that would obtain there after the 15th August. 

Following this, I outlined to him the practical difficulty that might 
arise should disorder break out after 15 August on the frontier between 
Hindustan and Pakistan, and told him that a proposal had been sub- 
mitted to the Viceroy whereby the Joint Defence Council, 2 on behalf of 
the two Dominion Governments, should ask the Supreme Commander 

1. 13 July 1947. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 12, pp. 129-130. 

Arthur Francis Smith (1890-1977); served European War, 1914-18; Brigadier, 
General Staff, British troops in Egypt, 1938-39; G.O.C.-in-C., Persia and Iraq 
Command, 1944-45; G.O.C.-in-C., Eastern Command, India, 1945-46; Chief 
of General Staff, India, 1946; Deputy C.-in-C., 1947; Commander, British 
Forces in India and Pakistan, November 1947; retired 1948. 

2. On 30 June 1947, a Joint Defence Council was set up so that the existing 
armed forces in India would be under a single administrative control until 
they had been divided into two distinct forces, and the two Governments 
were in a position to administer their respective forces. Its members were 
the Governor-General, the two Defence Ministers, and the Commander-In- 
Chief of India who was to hold administrative charge under the Council. 
From 15 August 1947, the Commander-in-Chief was to be designated the 
Supreme Commander. He was to have no operational control over any units. 


309 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

to appoint a senior British officer and adequate staff to take control of 
any “disturbed area.” In such event operational control would have 10 
be exercised by the Supreme Commander on behalf of the Joint Defence 
Council. Pandit Nehru seemed to think that such an arrangement would 
be temporarily necessary. 

3. We discussed the retention of British officers and technical specia- 
lists, and I emphasised that, from reports received, it seemed unlikely 
that British personnel would be willing to volunteer. I explained the 
reasons for this, and Pandit Nehru expressed the view that attacks on 
British officers in the press had lessened considerably of late. I told him 
it was not just a question of public attacks in the press, but of other pin 
pricks which British officers suffered (I had in mind the recent accusa- 
tion by H.M.D. of certain senior officers at G.H.Q. in connection with 
the issue of arms to States Forces and Police, but I did not mention 
that H.M.D.’s attitude was a case in point). I told Pandit Nehru that, 
undoubtedly, British officers would take a statement from Indian leaders 
themselves of their indebtedness to the British officers and their hope 
that they will continue to assist during the early period of reconstitution. 

4. I referred to Pandit Nehru’s statement that he would have “liked 
the Armed Forces Reorganisation Committee also to have senior Indian 
officers associated with it.” 

I explained that, while the main A.F.R. Committee had no Indian 
officers on it, there was a representative of both (the Union of) India 
and Pakistan: that this had been agreed by the Partition Council, 3 and 
if they had wanted Indian officers on this Committee, they should have 
said so earlier. I added, however, that the detailed work concerning re- 
constitution lay with the Sub-Committees, and explained that, in the 
case of the Army Sub-Committee, there were six Indian officers as against 
four British. I also emphasised that, whereas the main work of the pre- 
sent G.H.Q. was to 4 break down” the Army, the main responsibility for 
“building up” the new armies would rest with the Commanders-in-Chief 
of the two Dominions. It was, therefore, sound gradually to make the 
diminishing G.H.Q. consist mostly of British ex-officers so that more In- 
dian officers would be available for administrative and command posts 
in the armies of (the Union of) India and Pakistan. 


3. The Partition Council came into existence on 27 June 1947, with the Viceroy 
as the Chairman. Its members were Vallabhbhai Patel and Rajendra Prasad 
from the Congress, Liaquat Ali Khan and M.A. Jinnah from the Muslim 
League. The Partition Council worked through a Steering Committee of two 

senior officials, H.M. Patel and Mohammad Ali. 


310 


DEFENCE POLICY 


5. With reference to Pandit Nehru’s statement that a number of senior 
officers and others employed in the Defence Department have opted for 
service in Pakistan, I pointed out this was not true as regards officers of 
the Armed Forces as no replies had yet been received from Indian offi- 
cers stating whether they wished to serve (the Union of) India or 
Pakistan. 

6. The interview started rather stickily, but as confidence was gained 
our conversation became extremely easy. The interview lasted over an 
hour and ended in the most friendly way, and, I hope, helped to reas- 
sure Pandit Nehru that every action being taken in regard to reconstitu- 
tion was being done on sound lines and with complete integrity of pur- 
pose. 


7. To Lord Mountbatterv 

New Delhi 
July 14, 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Please forgive me for the delay in answering your letter No. 38/18 of 
the 11th July. 1 2 

I am sorry that General Slim has found himself unable to accept our 
invitation to become Commander-in-Chief, India. In the circumstances, 
I agree with you that the best man will be General Lockhart. I have 
consulted Sardar Baldev Singh and my other colleagues also. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jaw'aharlal Nehru 


1. J.N. Collection. 

2. In his letter of 11 July, Mountbatten said that the Secretary of State had 
cabled that Slim had declined the invitation to become Commander-in-Chief 
of India and Lockhart would be the next best man for that post. 


311 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


8. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
July 14, 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Thank you for your letter of today’s date which I have just received. - 
I have already written to you separately about Lockhart. I agree with 
you that he should be the Commander-in-Chief of the Army of India. 
I hardly think it is necessary to trouble him to come to Delhi to enable 
us to decide this. 

I feel rather at sea about your other proposals. 3 You know far more 
about this business than I do and the obvious course is for me to accept 
your advice I should like, however, to consult Sardar Baldcv Singh and 
other colleagues before sending you my final answer. 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. J.N. Collection. 

2. In his letter of 14 July Mountbatten suggested that Lockhart could be called 
to Delhi from the North West Frontier Province (where he was the Gover- 
nor) to discuss the matter with Nehru. 

3. In the same letter Mountbatten recommended the names of Hall and Shcwr- 
ing for the post of Flag Officer of the Royal Indian Navy with their neces- 
sary particulars. He also proposed to change that rank into that of Rear 
Admiral. He further proposed Chakravarti’s name for the post of Chief of 
Staff, Navy. He recommended Mukherji’s name as Chief of Staff, R.I.A.F. 


9. ToBaldev Singh 1 


New Delhi 
July 14, 1947 


My dear Baldev Singh, 

Thank you for your letter of July 14. There is much substance in what 
you say about the Gurkha battalions. But in view of the considerable 
extra cost involved in maintaining all of them, I think we should con- 
sider the matter at an informal meeting of our colleagues at an early 
date. 


1. J.N. Collection. 


312 


DEFENCE POLICY 


1 enclose a copy of a letter received from the Viceroy. I am afraid it 
is impossible for me to give any opinion in regard to the various appoint- 
ments referred to in this letter. I should like you to consult your advisers 
in the different services and then let me have your opinion. Kindly do 
this as early as possible. 

I have informed the Viceroy that we approve of Lockhart's appoint- 
ment as Commander-in-Chief, India. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


10. To Baldev Singh 1 2 

New Delhi 
19 July 1947 

My dear Baldev Singh, 

I have your letter of the 18th July.- 1 agree with you that the Defence 
Department must be maintained at the highest level of efficiency now 
and later. I think, however, that you might wait for about two weeks or 
so for the report of an I.C.S. manpower committee which Sardar Patel 
has appointed. This committee has been asked to report by the end 
of this month. Government is terribly short of trained manpower and I 
have in fact stopped sending abroad even chosen candidates for the 
Foreign Service. Probably early in August we shall be in a better posi- 
tion to judge. 

2. For the present 1 suggest that Bhalja might take charge immedia- 
tely of the post of Secretary of the Defence Department, and you might 
appoint S.K. Kripalani as Joint Secretary. As regards P.N. Thapar 3 we 
had better wait for some little time before finally making up our minds. 
I take it that in any event he will join our service here and we can utilise 
him to the best advantage after we know the exact position. 

1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. In his letter of 18 July, Baldev Singh suggested that to maintain the efficiency 
of the Defence Department new problems arising during the period of re- 
constitution should be tackled immediately and necessary appointments made. 

3. (1903-1982); joined the Indian Civil Service 1927; served in the Punjab; Secre- 
tary, Food and Agriculture Ministry, Government of India, 1954-58. 


313 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

3. Bhalja may not be the ideal Secretary, but he has a certain amount 
of experience, and that is important at the present moment. A new man 
would take some time to get that experience. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


11. Symon’s Report on Interview with Nehru 


I took the opportunity during my discussion today with Mr. Nehru to 
ask him whether, now that a new Government had been formed, steps 
could be taken to finalise the understanding which he had reached with 
Field Marshal Montgomery regarding the employment of Gurkhas by 
His Majesty’-s Government. 1 2 3 

Mr. Nehru seemed surprised and said that he did not understand 
what more was required. The position was that at the time of the Field 
Marshal’s visit he had consulted his colleagues and had subsequently 
brought the subject up in Cabinet. No objection had been raised and 
therefore I could assume that the matter was settled so far as the 
Government of India were concerned. 

He then went on to say that of the present 27 Gurkha battalions the 
intention was to retain 12 of the 20 pre-war battalions for the Indian 
army leaving the other 8 pre-war battalions for His Majesty’s Govern- 
ment. They did not, however, propose immediately to disband the other 
7 battalions for the time being. They would probably be kept, say, until 
March of next year. 

I told Mr. Nehru that Colonel Smith 2 had arrived from the War Office 
to arrange details with Army Headquarters here and I asked him whether 

1. 21 July 1947. R/3/1/147, I.O.L.R., London. 

Alexander Colin Burlington Symon (1902-1974); appointed to India Office, 
1921; Secretary to Indian Delegation to London Naval Conference, 1935; 
Secretary to Indian Supply Mission in U.S.A., 1941-46; Deputy High Com- 
missioner for the United Kingdom in India, 1946-49; Assistant Under-Secretary 
of State, Commonwealth Relations Office, 1949-52; British High Commissioner 
in Pakistan, 1954-61. 

2. See ante, item 2. 

3. Colonel D.M.W. Smith had arrived in New Delhi in July 1947 from the 
War Office as head of a mission to assist the High Commissioner of the United 
Kingdom to complete negotiations with the Governments of Tndia and Nepal 
for the purpose of transfer of Gurkha troops to H.M.G. 


314 


DEFENCE FOLICY 


I could assume that, when the details had been arranged, the way would 
be clear for the British Mission to proceed to Kathmandu to negotiate a 
formal agreement with the Nepal Government. He said that this was the 
case though he thought that it might be a good thing to send someone 
from the Government of India with our Mission because there were politi- 
cal problems connected with the agreement. By this he meant the re- 
servations which the Maharajah of Nepal had made as regards the 
actual use of Gurkha troops by His Majesty’s Government and, of course, 
by the Government of India. 

I told him that when Colonel Smith’s Mission completed its work we 
would consult with External Affairs Department before arrangements 
were made for the Mission to proceed to Kathmandu. 


12. To Baldev Singh 1 

New Delhi 
25 July 1947 

My dear Baldev Singh, 

At the suggestion of the Viceroy I met Air Marshal Elmhirst 2 ' and Cap- 
tain Hall. 3 You had already selected Captain Hall and so there was not 
much to be said about it. 4 Elmhirst’s appointment has been proposed 
by you. I have met him a few times and I have been considerably im- 
pressed by him. He is a man of long and varied experience especially 
in organising air forces. Also he appeared to me to have the right slant 
on India. I have known his brother for many years. I thought we had 
better finally fix up Elmhirst without waiting for new names to consider. 
2. Elmhirst told me that he had put forward one condition to the 

1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. Thomas Walker Elmhirst (1895-1982); Second in Command, British Air 
Forces in North-Western Europe, 1944-45; Assistant Chief of Air Staff (In- 
telligence), 1945-47; Chief of Inter-Service Administration in India, 1947; 
First Commander-in-Chief, Indian Air Force, 1947-50; Honorary Air Marshal 
in the Indian Air Force, 1950. 

2. John Talbot Savignac Hall (1896-1964); Acting Rear-Admiral, 1947; Flag 
Officer Commanding (later Commander-in-Chief), Royal Indian Navy, 1947-48; 
Rear-Admiral, 1950. 

4. In his letter of 20 July 1947 Baldev Singh had recommended Hall’s name 
for the post of Commander-in-Chief, Indian Navy, Nott’s name for some 
responsible post in the Navy and Elmhirst’s name for the post of Commander- 
in-Chief, Indian Air Force. 


315 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


Viceroy, namely that he must not be subordinate to the Commander-in- 
Chief of the land forces. He said that the Indian Air Force had suffered 
greatly in the past by being made a subordinate wing of the Army. The 
only way to develop it was to give it an independent status. This, in 
fact, was being done in other countries. He was anxious to help in build- 
ing up the Indian Air Force rapidly and efficiently and he did not want 
the military to come in the way. 1 entirely agreed with him and told him 
that so far as I was concerned I gladly accepted his condition. The more 
I see Elmhirst, the more I like him. I think he will do good work for us. 
He was on the point of going back to England when this offer was made 
to him. He will now stay on. 

3. I mentioned both to the Viceroy and Captain Hall that we would 
like to keep Captain Nott 5 on in the Indian Navy in addition to Hall. 
Nott is at present running the training school at Cochin. The Viceroy 
knows him personally and speaks highly of him. I think he will stay on 
here. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

5. M.H. Nott, Chief of Naval Staff, India, 1947-48. 


13 To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
26 July 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

I have been following from a distance some of the proceedings of the 
Partition Council. I have, in particular, seen some of the papers relating 
to the partition of the Army and the future reorganisation of the 
Defence Forces. The approach made by the Commander-in-Chief in 
regard to certain matters seems to me very different from our approach. 

On reading yesterday some correspondence which has passed between 
Mr. Rajagopalachari and the Commander-in-Chief regarding the Finan- 
cial Adviser, 2 War and Supply, I was surprised to find that the Com- 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol. 12, pp. 365-367. 

2. Chaudhury Mohammad Ali (1905-1980); joined Indian Audit and Accounts 
service 1928; Accountant-General of Bahawalpur State, 1932; joined Finance 
Department, Government of India, 1936 and became Financal Adviser, Depart- 
ment of War and Supply, 1945; in Pakistan, Secretary-General of Civil Service, 
1947-51; Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, 1951-55; Prime Minister, 
1955-56. 


316 


DEFENCE POLICY 


mander-in-Chief should not have realised that there had been a recon- 
stitution of the Government and a splitting up of the Secretariat Depart- 
ments. The Financial Adviser, War and Supply, is ex officio an Addi- 
tional Secretary of the Finance Department and the post had therefore 
necessarily under this order to be divided into two. That was the reason 
why we immediately recommended on the 19th the appointment of a 
Financial Adviser (India). There was just the possibility, however, that 
the Commander-in-Chief was unaware of the promulgation of the Ex- 
ecutive (Transitional Provisions) Order, but when I was shown the 
relevant minutes of the Armed Forces Reconstitution Committee meet- 
ing held on Thursday the 24th July, I found that the Commander-in- 
Chief had ignored this order apparently because (a) he and his Finan- 
cial Adviser, Mr. Mohammad Ali, had not been consulted, and (b) he 
considers the whole arrangement to be unworkable! I must express my 
surprise at what appears to me to be the rather extraordinary conduct 
of Mr. Mohammad Ali at this meeting. He could not have been unaware 
of the correct position and yet by his silence he appears to have con- 
veyed that the Commander-in-Chiefs understanding of the position was 
correct. Judging from these minutes, the Commander-in-Chief seems to 
be gravely perturbed at the suggestion that anyone but Mr. Mohammad 
Ali should be his Financial Adviser. 

May I say that we are gravely perturbed that the opinion and attitude 
of the Commander-in-Chief in these matters are completely contrary to 
what we have been given to understand. I think it should be made 
perfectly clear what the present position is and what the future position 
may be. So far as the question of a Financial Adviser for Military 
Finance is concerned, this inevitably must follow the rule laid down 
about the division between India and Pakistan. It would be absurd, in 
the circumstances, for any person who has opted for Pakistan, and much 
more so for one who is the special advocate for Pakistan in the parti- 
tion proceedings, to be the Chief Adviser of the Commander-in-Chief in 
regard to our forces. We cannot possibly admit this. A corollary of the 
position which the Commander-in-Chief would like to have is that wc 
should agree to a joint Military Finance and Accounting Organisation 
under Mr. Mohammad Ali, if wc accept him, or under a British officer. I 
need not go further into the merits of this particular matter, since the 
Steering Committee, I understand, is preparing a paper for considera- 
tion by the Partition Council on this subject and the two points of view 
will be clearly brought out in that paper. The only reason for my men- 
tioning it here is to draw your attention to the attitude the Commander- 
in-Chief is said to have displayed towards the Indian point of view. 

Apart from this particular matter, the general attitude of the Corn- 


317 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

mander-in-Chief and presumably his senior advisers does not seem to 
me to be in keeping with the position as it has developed and as it is 
going to develop. If that is so, we have to consider afresh how this 
should be clarified so as to avoid future conflict of opinion on vital 
matters. The Dominion Government of India will necessarily have 
definite opinions and a clear policy in regard to its armed forces, and 
the officers serving in the army, the navy and the air force will have to 
carry out that policy. The mere fact that the Supreme Commander will 
be in administrative control for a limited period does not mean that he 
will during that period be free to carry out administration in accordance 
with his own ideas. What we have in mind is that he would endeavour 
so to run the administration during the joint period that the transition 
from the joint administration to our own administration would be smooth 
and as nearly in accord as possible with our own ideas regarding the 
future administration of the forces. If this is not clearly understood 
there is bound to be a conflict which should be avoided in the interest 
of all concerned. 

The whole set-up of the future Joint Defence Council will have to 
be reconsidered, if necessary, if there is any doubt in regard to the 
position of the Indian Government and its defence forces. In a way, the 
Supreme Commander will have the casting vote and if his general out- 
look is completely different from our own then clearly the Council will 
not function at all. This is a matter of great importance. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


14. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
26 July 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

I received your letter of the 23rd July about Air Marshal Elmhirst. As 
suggested by you, I saw Elmhirst and Captain Hall yesterday. We have 
already agreed about Captain Hall taking command of the Indian Navy. 
You will remember that I suggested to you that Captain Nott should, 
in addition, remain in India and you approved of this suggestion. 

Elmhirst told me that he would gladly undertake this charge, but he 
made a condition that the Air Force should not be subordinated to the 

1. File No. 32(46)/4S-PMS. 


318 


DEFENCE POLICY 


Commander-in-Chief of the land forces. He seemed to think that this 
subordination might come in the way of the full growth of the Air Force. 
Of course, all the defence forces will function under the Defence Minister 
and the Defence Council. I understand that this is the practice in most 
other countries. 

I am not an expert in this matter, but I have felt, even apart from 
Elmhirst’s suggestion, that the Air Force should not be subordinated 
to the Army. I had no difficulty, therefore, in agreeing to what Elmhirst 
said. I feel sure that under him our Air Force will progress rapidly and 
1 am very glad that he has consented to stay on in India and to take 
charge. 

I agree entirely that, in the circumstances, Elmhirst’s rank should 
be that of Air Marshal. 

We thus agree to Sir Thomas Elmhirst being put in command of the 
Indian Air Force and Captain Hall commanding the R.I.N. of the Domi- 
nion of India. Captain Hall will be promoted to the rank of Rear 
Admiral. 

May I suggest to you that promotion of senior officers in the Indian 
Army is long overdue. I have mentioned this matter to you previously. 
The Nationalisation Committee’s report suggested early promotion of 
the Brigadiers to the rank of Major-Generals. This was a matter which 
could have been attended to immediately without any reference to the 
partition. I trust this will be done very soon, as it is causing some 
dissatisfaction among large numbers of people. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


15. To Lord Mountbatten 1 


New Delhi 
28 July 1947 


Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Thank you for your letter of the 26th/28th July about the employment 
of Gurkha troops in the British Army. 

2. I have made it perfectly clear to the Defence Department that the 
Government of India have agreed in principle to H.M.G. engaging 
Gurkha troops. Certain conditions were mentioned by us and by the 

1. J.N Collection. 


319 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRXJ 

Nepalese Government and these were agreed to by Field Marshal Mont- 
gomery. It does not seem to me necessary to refer the matter again to 
Cabinet. When further details have been worked out, the matter will no 
doubt go to Cabinet for final sanction. I think it is perfectly open to the 
Commander-in-Chief to take executive action in the matter. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


18. On the Proposed Transfer of Gurkha Battalions 1 


I have seen the Commander-in-Chiefs note 2 dated 31.7.47 about Gurkha 
battalions being engaged by H.M.G. There is still some misapprehension. 
We have agreed about the principle but details and conditions have to 
be worked out in consultation with the Nepal Government. It will be 
improper for any transfer to take place before those conditions are 
clearly laid down. The next step therefore is for a conference between 
the representatives of H.M.G., India and Nepal to work out the details 
and conditions. The Nepal Government has laid stress on these conditions 
and we cannot bypass them. 

1. Quoted in Baldev Singhs note to Auchinleck dated 1 August 1947. R/3/ 1/147, 
I.O.L.R., London. 

2. Auchinleck had written that he was taking necessary action “to effect the 
transfer without delay of eight pre-war battalions of Gurkha Rifles to H.M.G. 
for service under the Crown.” 


17. The Gurkha Regiments in India 1 


I have seen a telegram to the effect that a questionnaire has been issued 
to the men of the Gurkha regiments asking them whether they are 

1. Note, 13 August 1947. Ministry of External Affairs and Commonwealth Re- 

lations. File No. 4(4)-CA/47, p. 4/notcs, National Archives of India. 


320 


DEFENCE POLICY 


prepared to serve in the Indian Army or whether they wish to retire. If 
it has been issued only to the officers, then there is nothing more to be 
said about it. But if it has been issued to the other ranks also, then I 
should like to know why this procedure has been adopted. 

The question of Gurkha regiments being retained in the Indian Army 
or being taken over by H.M.G. has been discussed at the highest level 
for some time past and the Nepal Government has been consulted. Very 
soon there is likely to be a tripartite conference to consider further 
details. At this stage it is not clear why the men of the Gurkha regiments 
should be asked the questions included in the questionnaire. I shall be 
glad to know why this is being done. This, I may add, is somethmg 
which, even if it was necessary, required reference to the Nepalese Gov- 
ernment. 


18. To R.M.M. Lockhart 1 

New Delhi 
15 August 1947 

Dear Commander-in-Chief, 

Thank you for your letter of the 14th August and for your good wishes. 2 

2. I am, very glad to find that there is complete agreement between us 
regarding the relationship between the Government and those who are 
in charge of the Defence Forces. It is, of course, incumbent on military' 
advisers to bring to the notice of Government any matter which affects 
the well-being, morale or efficiency of the troops under their command. 
I can assure you that the Government of India will value such advice 
greatly. I feel sure that we shall have little difficulty in cooperating to- 
gether in the service of India. 

3. I hope to be able to see you soon and have a talk with you about 
the future. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1 . J.N. Collection. 

2. Lockhart congratulated Nehru on his becoming Prime Minister and wrote that 
he whole-heartedly agreed with Nehru’s definition of the relationship between 
statesmen and soldiers. He felt that it was incumbent on the soldier to carry 
out the statesman’s policy and on military advisers to bring to the notice of 
their Government any matters which affected the well-being, morale or effici- 
ency of the troops under their command. 


321 












. 

Y 

: •• $0 ty 

h ■ 




THE I.N.A. PRISONERS 










THE I.N.A. PRISONERS 


1. To Lord Mountbatten 1 2 

19 July 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

You will remember that the case of the I.N.A. prisoners was considered 
at length some time ago and ultimately it was decided to refer it to the 
judges of the Federal Court. I made a statement to this effect in the 
Legislative Assembly.- I do not know how far this consideration by the 
Federal Court judges has proceeded and when we are likely to have 
their recommendations. 

As you will no doubt appreciate, an entirely new situation arises be- 
cause of the political changes that have taken place. Normally speaking 
it would be entirely inappropriate for any political prisoners, or those 
who are considered as political prisoners, to be kept in prison after the 
declaration of Indian independence. There would be a widespread feel- 
ing among the people that this independence was not real and was only 
a facade if such prisoners continued to be detained. It seems to me 
essential therefore that on or before August 15 I.N.A. prisoners should 
be released. I am quite certain that if this release does not take place, 
the matter will be raised in the Constituent Assembly which will be 
functioning then as a sovereign Legislative Assembly. 

There is another aspect of this case. It is possible that the Pakistan 
Government may take some action in this matter and release the pri- 
soners in their charge. If this happens, as it very probably will, then the 
retention in prisons at the instance of the Indian Government would be 
very difficult if not impossible, and would give rise to tremendous public 
opinion. 

In view of this situation I wish to suggest to you that very early steps 
should be taken to release these prisoners. This can be done quite ap- 
propriately and without any reference to the past in view of the new 
political status of India. If this is not done soon, a new public demand 
will arise and then we shall have to do it in response to that demand. 
It is thus far better to keep the initiative with ourselves than to be com- 
pelled by circumstances to take action. 


1. John Connell, Auchinleck (London, 1959), p. 895. The full text of the letter 
is not available. 

2. See Selected Works (Second Series), Vol 2, pp. 80, 345, 351-359. 


325 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAIIARLAL NEHRU 

2. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
24 July 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

Thank you for your letter of the 22nd July, received today, about the 

1. N.A. prisoners. 2 

2. As the Federal Court judges are going to report about these cases 
very soon, we can consider this matter within the next few days. I would 
like to say, however, that it appears inconceivable to me that so far as 
the Government of India are concerned they will retain any of these 
persons in prison. Many thousands of prisoners, that is, ordinary con- 
victs, are being discharged on or about the 15th August all over India. 
There are a few political prisoners. But most of them are ordinary con- 
victs. If even at such a juncture the I.N.A. people are not discharged, no 
Government can retain the confidence of the country. I need not go into 
the merits of this case as we have discussed* them sufficiently on earlier 
occasions. I only wish to add that I consider this as a matter of vital 
importance. 

3. I have mentioned to Sardar Baldev Singh the desirability of exercis- 
ing clemency in regard to ordinary military prisoners also on this oc- 
casion when so many others are likely to be discharged. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. J.N. Collection. 

2. Mountbatten informed Nehru that, as mentioned by the Chief Justice of India, 
the reports on “these cases” would be submitted by 25 July which, he sug- 
gested, could later be considered by Nehru, Jinnah and himself as to what 
action could be taken. He, however, mentioned that the only I.N.A. men still 
in prison were those on criminal charges of brutality against Indians. 


326 


10 

INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 

I. General 














INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


1. India for Universal Freedom 1 


We want to build up one world where freedom is universal and there is 
equality of opportunity between races and peoples. 

Standing as we- do on the verge of independence and freedom in India, 
we send our good wishes to the people of Africa. In this long course 
of our struggle for freedom in India we have realized fully the value of 
that freedom not only for ourselves but for all others. We have stood, 
therefore, for the freedom of all people in Asia, Africa or elsewhere. 
Indeed the world can no longer be divided into part free and part un- 
free. Any such attempt will lead to trouble and friction and wars. Peace 
can only be established on the basis of worldwide freedom. 

The world has witnessed suffering and misery in every part of it but 
perhaps the people of Africa have suffered and been exploited more than 
any other people. They deserve therefore not only the goodwill but the 
active help of others so that they might raise themselves and have the full 
benefit of freedom and progress. In this task it will be the privilege of 
India to help to the best of her ability. 

As a gesture towards this the Government of India have inaugurated a 
number of scholarships (five) for African students in Indian universities. I 
hope this number will grow and the students who come here from Africa 
will not only learn something of India but teach us something of Africa. 
Thus closer relations will be established and mutual understanding will 
grow. 

Indians who live in Africa must always remember that they are the 
guests of the Africans and that they may not do anything which might 
interfere with the progress of the Africans towards freedom. They must 
help Africans to attain their goal and cooperate with them in every way 
for their mutual advantage. We do not want any Indians to go abroad 
to exploit the people of any other country. We have suffered enough ex- 
ploitation in our own country and we want to be rid of it not only here 
but everywhere. 

I send my good wishes to the people of Africa and my fellow country- 
men in Africa and I hope that in the difficult days to come they will 
cooperate together to realize the great ideals we have before us. 

J. Message to Africans and Indians in Africa printed in The Hindustan Times, 
12 June 1947. The message was sent through James Beauttah who attended 
the Asian Relations Conference as an observer on behalf of the Kenya Afri- 
can Union. 


329 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

2. To Asaf Ali 1 


New Delhi 
18 June 1947 

My dear Asaf, 

I have received a sheaf of letters from you dated 4th June. The Pales- 
tine report is being examined and the packet for the Commerce De- 
partment has been sent on to them. 

2. One of your letters deals with B.R. Sen 2 and his position in the 
office and the work he does. This letter deals so much with depart- 
mental questions that I am consulting Bajpai about it. I might, how- 
ever, repeat what I have said previously that I view with great dis- 
favour anything in the nature of unnecessary expenditure. I am not in- 
terested at the present moment in personal questions of salaries and 
allowances and everyone should realise that more important things are 
being done in India. I do not know what the weather in Washington 
is like though I am told that it is hot and oppressive for two to three 
weeks or more. It can hardly be worse than Delhi. I have not found 
it necessary to have an air cooler in my house and I do not see why 
our officers abroad cannot do without one and possibly suffer a little 
discomfort for a few weeks. It is very likely that as soon as we are 
settled down under the new Government our scales of expenditure will 
have to be revised and the strictest economy will have to be practised. 
Everything that we can spare will go towards meeting vital demands 
in India, for food, relief and development. 

3. Your second letter deals with the report of the U.N.O. session. In 
this you mention the necessity of our having a first-rate man in charge 
of our U.N.O. work. I agree. For the moment, however, we are terri- 
bly short of first-class material and the demands are heavy. 

4. Your third letter refers to the dinner you had with the National 


1. J.N. Collection. 

2. Binay Ranjan Sen (b. 1898); joined Indian Civil Service 1922; Director-Gen- 
eral of Food, 1943-46; Secretary, Food Department, 1946; Minister, 
Embassy of India, Washington, 1947-50; Ambassador to Italy, Yugoslavia, 
United States, Mexico and Japan between 1950 and 1956; Director-General 
of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1956-67. 


330 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


City Bank and your visits to various diplomats. All this I have found 
very interesting. 

5. Having briefly dealt with your letters, I shall say something about 
the situation here. The first thing to bear in mind is that the proposed 
so-called division of India is in fact a secession of some parts of India. 
That is to say, India and the Government of India continue as inter- 
national persons and all our treaties and engagements with other coun- 
tries also continue. Our membership of the U.N.O. continues. In fact 
there is no change in our external relations whatever because we are a 
continuing entity. On the other hand the seceding provinces form a new 
State which has to begin from scratch. 

6. I want you to appreciate this fully because there is far too much 
loose talk of India ending in a sense and giving place to two new States 
— Pakistan and Hindustan. That is completely wrong in law and in fact. 

7. From early ia July there is likely to be a marked change in the In- 
terim Government to signify that a decision has been made in regard to 
separation. This means that we shall be able to function more compactly 
though the problems of separation will be troublesome. About the mid- 
dle of August we expect to begin functioning as a Dominion with full 
powers, though again some part of the separation work will continue. 

8. This Dominion Status for India must clearly be understood to be 
for the interim period. We are not going to give up our objective of a 
republic. Probably the Constituent Assembly will finish its labours be- 
fore the end of this year. This will be followed by preparations for new 
elections and the elections themselves. 

9. It is probable that as soon as we function as a Dominion we shall 
adopt our national flag formally. 

10. We are having a hard time and some of the Princes headed by 
Bhopal and Travancore are giving a great deal of trouble. But I am not 
personally worried about these Princes. We can deal with them fairly 
easily when the time comes. 

11. As soon as Dominion Status is established or a little after, it may 
be desirable for you to pay a visit to India. I do not wish to fix any 
date yet because much depends on developments. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


331 


SELECTED WORKS OP JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

3. To Sudhir Ghosh 1 

New Delhi 
20th June 1947 

My dear Sudhir, 

I sent you a brief note in answer to your letter some days ago. Almost 
immediately after that Sardar Patel sent me a copy of your letter to 
him, dated 28th May. 2 I have read this and have had a talk also with 
Sardar Patel. He will no doubt write to you separately, but, I think, I 
owe it to you to write frankly what I feel about this matter. 

First of all one thing should be clear to everybody that for anyone 
to say that you represent Sardar Patel in London and that somebody 
else represents me is fantastic nonsense; further, that Sardar Patel and 
1 arc carrying on di lie rent policies of Government is equally silly. We 
differ in some matters, as intelligent people differ, but we work in the 
closest cooperation, not only because of our long association and re- 
gard for each other, but also because the situation demands it. You re- 
present in London no individual minister or any other person but the 
Government ot India as such and naturally you have to function in 
accordance with the rules laid down by the Government for that purpose. 

Government routine work sometimes descends to the level of playing 
about with red tape. This is rightly criticised. Nevertheless, there is a 
value in sticking to certain routine and discipline in any organisation. 
For this reason, it is necessary to function through the usual channels. 
Otherwise there is confusion and misunderstanding. In London your 
superior authority is naturally the High Commissioner and you should 
go to him for advice and consult him in any worthwhile matter. He is 
not only your superior officer but is a man of far greater experience of 
life and of work in London and his advice is likely to be correct. This 
does not preclude you from dealing directly with the Department of the 
Government of India with which you are specially connected, that is 
the Information and Broadcasting Department. 

So much for the official side. There is also the personal aspect of 
this as of other matters. It appears from your letter as well as from some 
other accounts that you had some difficulty in London and certain con- 
troversies have arisen about you. 1 am not surprised to learn this, be- 
cause one has always to step warily in a new place and endeavour to 

1. Sudhir Ghosh Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. In this letter Sudhir Ghosh reported his difficulties in the face of a rapidly 
spreading propaganda in London, supposedly carried out by members of the 
India League, that Ghosh had been sent by Patel “in spite of opposition from 
Pandit Nehru and much against his will” and there was some design behind it. 


332 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


obtain the goodwill of one's colleagues; otherwise, certain suspicion 
arises. Politics in India arc confused, or apparently so, and the situa- 
tion changes from day to day. It is difficult for officials of the Govern- 
ment to know always what is exactly happening and what policy should 
bo pursued. With the coming of a new government they would naturally 
not know whether this indicated any change in policy or not. 

Then again, London is a hot-bed of intrigue. The Indians there have 
a host of organisations existing mostly on paper. There are naturally 
all kinds of persons amongst our countrymen in England. There is 
excellent material there and there are also some persons who are totally 
undesirable. For the rest people float about on the surface having no- 
thing better to do than to criticise others. A newcomer has to face all 
this before he can find his feet and adapt himself to his new surround- 
ings. If he is at all aggressive or expansive in his methods he will raise 
opposition. 

You have referred in your letter to Krishna Menon and his lieutenants 
in London; also, to the India League. I happen to know a good deal 
about both Krishna Menon and his work in London as well as about 
the India League. Personally, I have a high regard for Krishna Menon 
and his work and consider him one of our ablest men. He has been 
doing very good work and we expect him in future to do even more 
responsible work. 

The India League has a variety of people in it. As an organisation it 
is far the most effective one from India’s point of view in England. It 
has its failings and it has made mistakes in the past. That can be said 
of every organisation in India or outside. We intend to take full advan- 
tage of the India League organisation, in so far as we can. 

Krishna Menon has been away from England almost continuously 
since you went there except for a few very busy days when he went 
back at our instance. He will be returning to England soon charged 
with other work on our behalf. You should keep in touch with him, 
and if you have any grievance you should tell him about it. Normally, 
of course, you should be guided by Vcllodi’s advice. 

I imagine that you will soon get over your difficulties. How soon 
depends upon you more than others. Wc cannot control others, but wc 
can always try to shape our own behaviour so as to overcome difficul- 
ties. I think you arc capable of doing very good work in England be- 
cause you are eager, intelligent and enthusiastic. You can make friends 
and'Can get on with people, but you still require experience and, if I may 
say so, arc a bit raw. That will go soon enough and it is not very im- 
portant except that it may create difficulties, to begin with. 

I think that your initial contact with politics was rather upside-down. 
You started on a level of dealing with ministers and others in regard 


333 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


to high matters of state policy. Though you acted merely as an agent 
of others in this matter, this accustomed you to a certain procedure 
which is not the normal procedure. You will remember that when you 
saw me some months ago I told you that your communicating directly 
with ministers in England was a risky business, though sometimes it 
might be useful. It would lead them to suppose that you were represent- 
ing us when, in fact, you might not be. It might lead to our being com- 
mitted without the other party committing itself. 

I find from your letters such as I have seen in the past and recently 
that you have not developed enough restraint yet and restraint is a very 
necessary quality in a person dealing with matters of moment. 

I am writing to you frankly, because I like you and I want you to 
get on. I do not like anything happening which might come in your 
way and I shall certainly try to prevent such a thing occurring. But 1 
want you to discipline yourself a little more and develop some restraint. 
All of us have got to undertake increasing responsibilities and the men 
who can do so are few. 

This is entirely a personal letter and is meant for no one else. But 
I feel that Sardar Patel should see it as well as Mr. Vellodi. I am, 
therefore, sending them copies of it. 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


4. To Vijayalakshmi Pandit 1 


New Delhi 
23 June 1947 


My dear Nan, 

I just received your letter and Tara’s. I am glad to have received Tara’s 
letter as it gives me some insight into her mind. 

I have sent you a telegram today suggesting that you might come 
here direct from Khali for consultation. I should like to see you soon 
because many things cannot be settled without reference to you. But I 
do not want you! to cut short your brief holiday in Khali. So come here 
just when it is convenient to you and do not make your Khali stay 
shorter than you intended. 

1. J.N. Collection. Extracts. 


334 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


In my telegram I could not definitely say that the answer from 
Moscow has come because this matter is still secret. You may see the 
announcement in three or four days’ time. 

We have now to consider all the other details. I think you should 
leave at the latest at the beginning of August. I am not quite sure what 
is the best route. I am inquiring into this matter. It is not easy to go 
direct by special plane. Probably it will be better to go via London. 
But about this I shall find out and let you know. 

At least a fortnight before you go, somebody else should precede you 
to make necessary arrangements for your stay. We have not yet fixed 
upon the Counsellor and the Secretaries. For the present we intend 
rather a small staff. It is better to begin this way and add people later 
than to carry a large number with you. Apart from other difficulties, 
there is the housing question. We have thus to* choose a Counsellor and 
at least two Secretaries plus some clerical staff. We don’t want to fix 
upon anyone without consulting you. Hence the necessity for you to 
come here. I am afraid the people who will go with you will not be 
trained so far as the External Affairs Department is concerned. They will, 
of course, have some training otherwise. We have none to spare from 
our office. Chandralekha will, of course, go with you, though in what 
capacity has yet to be settled. 

If you go early in August you will have a clear month in Moscow 
before you need leave for the U.N.O. meeting. This is too short a period; 
but in view of special circumstances and the fact that you know Molotov, 
I do not think there will be any misunderstanding. I should like you 
to lead our U.N.O. delegation, as you did last time. 

I want very much to see Indu settle down for the time being in 
Lucknow. Feroze must carry on with the Herald , and it is right that 
Indu should live there for a good part of the year. Feroze told me that 
it is hardly possible to get a house in Lucknow. Could you help in this? 
It does not matter how small the house is, or perhaps even part of a 
house. . . . 

Feroze and Indu accompanied me to Hardwar and from there went 
on to Mussoorie. Feroze, I suppose, is on his way to Lucknow now or 
will go in a day or so. 

Yours affectionately, 
Jawaharlal 


335 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


5. Full Support to the United Nations 1 2 


Two years ago the Charter was signed which formed the basis of the 
United Nations Organization. Whatever weaknesses or defects the U.N.O. 
has, they are due to the weaknesses of the member countries. In spite of 
these weaknesses, the organization has made progress during the last 
two years and if the world can be saved from war for some years, the 
organization will become sufficiently strong. 

India wants to practise tolerance and live in peace with other nations. 
Because of the internal strife in the country the primary need is to 
evolve a strong central power in the country. Many things have hap- 
pened in India which are not pleasant, but they have to be accepted 
under the stress of circumstances. But we are determined to face the 
country’s problems boldly. Some of our dreams have become a reality 
and other dreams will soon become real. 

There is the need for breadth of vision to understand world problems 
and to rise above internal troubles. Nations are the pillars of the U.N.O. , 
whose strength depends on the strength of nations. India will be a strong 
pillar of the U.N.O. 

1. Speech at a function to commemorate the second anniversary of the 
signing of the United Nations Charter, New Delhi, 26 June 1947. From 
The Hindustan Times, 27 June 1947. 


6. To Lord Mountbatten 1 


New Delhi 
30 June 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

I am enclosing a copy of a secret letter received by my Department 
from the Minister at Kabul. Some sentences in it might interest you. 

2. The recently appointed Director of Civil Aviation in India, Mr. 
M.I. Rahim,- recently went to Kabul on behalf of the Government of 

1. J.N. Collection. 

2. Muhammad Inamur Rahim; Secretary to Ministry of Commerce and Industries, 
Government of India, 1941; Commissioner of Settlements. 1942; appointed 
Director-General of Civil Aviation in 1 c >47 . 


336 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


India in connection with an aviation agreement. 3 His mission failed 
and there was no agreement. But according to the Minister’s letter, Mr. 
Rahim visited Afghan officials as Mr. Jinnah’s personal representative 
in Afghanistan- He visited in the same capacity as the Turkish, French 
and American Ministers in Kabul and talked about Pakistan. I have 
no objection to Mr. Jinnah sending a personal representative to Afgha- 
nistan. But it does seem undesirable for an official of the Government 
of India on a Government mission to function as such. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

3. On 22 May 1947 the Government of India sent an air delegation to Kabul 
under the leadership of Inamur Rahim to negotiate a commercial air agreement 
between India and Afghanistan to provide regular services between Quetta, 
Peshawar, Kabul, Kandahar and Herat. 


7. To Abdur Rahman 1 

New Delhi 
10th July 1947 

My dear Rahman. 

Thank you for your letter of June 25th which I read with interest. 2 You 
have got a difficult job; but I have no doubt whatever that you will feel 
equal to it. 

In the last paragraph of your letter you refer to the division of India 
on August 15th. 3 The problem which you mention is really no problem 
at all and the position is quite clear. This position is that certain pro- 
vinces and areas of India have elected to secede from the parent country 
and to form a separate state. This does not affect the international status 
of India as a continuing entity, and all our old obligations and commit- 
ments continue. The separation of Burma from India a dozen years ago 

1. Ministry of External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, File No. 2(71)- 
UNO-1/47, pp. 51-53, National Archives of India. 

2. Abdur Rahman had reported on the work of the United Nations Special 
Committee on Palestine which was touring Palestine at the time. 

3. Abdur Rahman felt that after 15 August 1947 the two ‘dominions would 
have to apply separately for membership of the United Nations. 


337 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

offers a parallel. That made no difference to India as an international 
person. The seceding provinces and areas now form a new State, called 
“Pakistan”, and it is open to them to have their own agreements and 
arrangements with other nations, or to apply to the U.N.O. for admis- 
sion. We shall help them in this, in so far as we can. Thus India con- 
tinues as before and a new state, Pakistan, comes into existence. There 
is no doubt about this matter, so far as interpretations of international 
law are concerned. Eminent lawyers, both in India and in England, 
were of this opinion. As a matter of fact, the Indian! Independence Bill 
that is now being considered in Parliament has confirmed this. 

Your position on the Palestine Special Committee is not affected m 
any way. I might point out that it is not quite correct to say that you 
were nominated by the United Nations 4 India was chosen as one of 
the countries to be represented on the Special Committee. The nomina- 
tion of the representative from India was done by the Government of 
India and not by the United Nations. In any event, this question, as I 
have stated above, does not arise. 

With all good wishes to you, 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

4. Abdur Rahman had written that his position on the Special Committee on 
Palestine might not be affected as “I was nominated by the United Nations, 
although on the recommendation of the Indian Government, at a time when 
India was a member of the United Nations.” 


8. To Robin Mirrlees 1 

New Delhi 
14 July 1947 

My dear Rohin, 2 

Thank you for your letter of the 1st June which I enjoyed reading. You 
will forgive me if my reply is brief. But I want to tell you that I really 
liked your letter and I hope that you will continue writing from time 
to time and give me your impressions of Japan. 

1. J.N. Collection. 

2. Robin Mirrlees (b. 1925); served in India, 1942-46; Captain, Royal Artillery, 
1944; General Staff, New Delhi, 1946; Embassy Attache, Tokyo, 1947; A.D.C. 
to the King of Yugoslavia, 1963-70; co-editor, Annnaire de France , since 1966. 


338 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


I am afraid I have littld peace here of mind or body, and there is no 
prospect of rest or travel abroad. 

As you must know, we have sent a new Representative to Japan, Sir 
B. Rama Rau. When he came to say goodbye to me, I told him about 
you. His daughter, Shanta, is accompanying him to Japan. I hope you 
will meet them. 

You will always be welcome in India whenever duty or pleasure may 
bring you here. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


9. Telegram to Edward Atiyah 1 

18 July 1947 

Grateful to you for your telegram. a I earnestly trust that free India will 
stand and work for the freedom of Asia and for a free and cooperative 
world. 

1. P.I.B. 

2. Edward Atiyah sent a telegram of congratulations to Nehru on the occasion 
of the passing of the Indian* Independence Bill. He expressed the jubilation of 
the entire Arab world on the achievement of India’s freedom. 


10. To V.V. Giri 1 

New Delhi 
20 July 1947 

My dear Giri, 

Thank you for your letter of the 16th July. I hasten to reply to it in 
order to clear up any misapprehension about your position after August 
15th. 2 

1. Ministry of External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, File No. 62-A/ 
47-OS II, pp. 5-6/corr., National Archives of India. 

2. Giri was the representative of the Government of India in Sri Lanka. He had 
wished to know what his position would be, after 15 August, with regard 
to Pakistan. 


339 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


2 „ Recent political developments and the Indian Independence Act 
have resulted in creating two Dominions. This in effect amounts to the 
Government of India continuing as before but as a Dominion. The in- 
ternational person that is India has not been affected by the change and 
all our foreign representations and commitments remain. Pakistan, on the 
other hand, is a new State which will have to build up its foreign re- 
presentation as it likes. 

3. You will represent therefore, after August 15th, the Dominion of 
India only and not Pakistan. Of course we are prepared to do any ser- 
vice for Pakistan abroad till such time as they have their own represen- 
tation. But you are distinctly not the representative of Pakistan. 

4. I want to make it perfectly clear also that we do not propose to 
Recognise the independence of Travancore or Hyderabad or any other 
State. Therefore you should continue to treat Travancoreans in Ceylon 
as being under your charge just like any other Indians. 3 Probably this 
question will be settled before very long. In any case you should not 
admit that there is any change in the status of Travancoreans in Ceylon 
or that they will cease to be eligible for franchise. 

5. I do not think any useful purpose will be served if we had a meet- 
ing of our representatives in Ceylon, Malaya and Burma. 4 In Malaya 
Thivy is just taking charge. Dr. Rauf from Burma is here now and will 
be going back to Burma soon. The tragedy in Rangoon overshadows 
everything else there. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

3. Giri had asked to what extent he could and should speak on behalf of the 
people of Travancore on the question of their status vis-a-visi Sri Lanka. 

4. Giri had suggested such a meeting. 


11. Telegram to Asaf Ali 1 

New Delhi 
22 July 1947 

Your telegram 630 of 18th July. 

1. External Affairs Department File No. 1 1(37) -I A/47, Sr. No. 48, National 
Archives of India. 

340 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


2. It is not clear whether you have mentioned possibility of American 
intervention in this case to your Afghan colleague. 2 If so it is likely to 
prove most embarrassing and may vitiate effect of any friendly advice 
which State Department may decide to give Afghans. 

3. I should be grateful if you would not take any further initiative in 
this matter either with Afghan Minister or with Shah Mahmud, 3 Afghan 
Prime Minister, who will shortly arrive in America on private visit, with- 
out seeking instructions from me. 

4. I hope to discuss matter informally with Shah Mahmud when he 
passes through Delhi this week. 

Jawaharlal Nehru 

2. Asaf Ali had cabled to Nehru that he had a private discussion with the 
Afghan minister. Afghanistan intensely disliked the intervention of third parties. 
He asked Nehru to consider a personal and informal talk with the Afghan 
Consul General in Delhi. 

3. Shah Mahmud Khan; War Minister of Afghanistan, 1929-46; Prime Minister, 
1946-53. 


12. To V.K. Krishna Menon 1 

New Delhi 
22 July 1947 


My dear Krishna, 

I received your letter of the 20th July today,- also your notes on the 
National Government and Mrs. Pandit’s visit to Moscow. I have also 
received your two long telegrams — one about your various meetings 
with Ministers and others in London, 3 and the other about Indonesia. 

2. I have been greatly upset by the assassinations in Rangoon. But I 
do not know that we can do anything in the matter. On receipt of news 
of Aung San’s murder, I was asked if the Indian troops in Burma could 

1. V.K. Krishna Menon Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. Kristina Menon set down in this letter some impressions on events around 

3 Krishna Menon had met Cripps, Listowel, Henderson and leading personali- 
ties from political groups. He had also made contacts in quarters where 
public opinion could be moulded. 


341 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


be used to put down widespread disorder. There are, as a matter of fact, 
few Indian regiments left there, and this was done at the express re- 
quest of the Burmese Government to deal with the widespread dacoities 
that were taking place. We have been withdrawing our troops from Bur- 
ma and the last of these should have come soon. Recently we had a 
request that they might continue there till March next. We agreed sub- 
ject to various conditions that we laid down. Among these was that they 
should not be used in any sense for suppressing the Burmese people. 

3. There is a large Indian population in Rangoon and elsewhere in 
Burma- When disorders take place they are in some danger. When I 
was asked three days ago about the use of Indian troops in case of 
widespread disorder, I agreed. As a matter of fact, thus far nothing 
much has happened since the assassinations except arrests. 

4. The news from Indonesia was a bit of a shock though we were part- 
ly prepared for it. Today’s paper says that Dr. Shahrir has reached 
Singapore and is coming to India. I have no other news of him. He may 
arrive here in a day or two and he will, no doubt, give us further in- 
formation. 

5. We have been communicating with the British Government and the 
U.S.A. about Indonesia and emphasising the need for some kind of 
arbitration and the grave dangers of hostilities. We have again sent a 
long message today to this effect. You must have also received our tele- 
gram. 

6. It is clear that India must do all that is possible in this matter. Wc 
have also to take the public into our confidence to some extent. Apart 
from stressing the need for the cessation of hostilities and for arbitra- 
tion, what else can we do? We must invoke the U.N.O. We are trying 
to do so in cooperation with the U.K. and the U.S.A. If they do not agree, 
we shall do it by ourselves. I am awaiting a reply from you. 

7. I do not think it is necessary for you to go to The Hague, at any 
rate, at present. 

8. There is another aspect of this question to be considered. The K.L.M. 
flies across India according to agreement and, no doubt, it takes officers, 
military and civil, to Indonesia. Can we prevent this kind of thing? There 
Is already some agitation that this should be done. 


342 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


9. The Dutch Ambassador has not come yet and there is no important 
person at their Embassy here at present. We are keeping in touch on this 
issue with the American Embassy. But the response of the State Depart- 
ment thus far has not been encouraging. 

10. I have read your note on the National Government. 4 It is not very 
easy to function as you would like us to function. There are too many 
stresses and strains. We have not yet finally decided about Governors and 
about the addition of some Members to the Government. But I suppose 
we must come to a decision within the next three or four days simply 
because time is limited. 

11. Your note about Mrs. Pandit has been handed over to the man in 
charge in our office and a copy will be given to her. She will be coming 
here in three or four days’ time. I am rather surprised to learn about the 
revolver. 5 This has no importance in itself, and my sister does not carry 
about a revolver normally. But I should have thought that a revolver 
was often the normal equipment for a person. Suppose the plane comes 
down somewhere en route. However, you need not bother about this. 

12. The Hindu Mahasabha is going strong here and is likely to give us 
a good deal of trouble. The difficulty is that they have no intelligent men 
with whom one could deal. The partition business has excited Hindus 
tremendously and all their wrath is turned against the Congress which is 
supposed to be guilty of agreeing to this partition. As a matter of fact 
some of the Hindu Mahasabha leaders were even more anxious for the 
partition. But having got it, they now declaim against it 

13. The position in the Frontier Province is very odd, and we have 
had no special information recently. I am afraid there is going to be 
trouble there and unsettled conditions for a considerable time. Abdul 
Ghaffar Khan and Dr. Khan Sahib are not likely to submit to the Jinnah 

4. Krishna Menon had envisaged a National Government “of all the talents” and 
a team representing as much homogeneity as possible. It need not be an elected 
committee nor its members Congress workers. He suggested a cabinet of 20 
members. The Prime Minister could discuss matters with any section of his 
cabinet according to the nature of the matter. 

5. The note mentioned that the protection of the Indian Ambassador while in 
the U.S.S.R. was a responsibility of the Soviet Government. The Soviet law 
prevented the introduction into the U.S.S.R. of revolvers from outside, and if 
Mrs. Pandit wished to possess one it had been suggested that she might t&ke 
this up in Moscow personally with Molotov. 


343 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


regime, and there might even be conflict on a biggish scale. We are rather 
cut off from the N.W.F.P. 

14. In regard to the States, I think Mountbatten is putting considerable 
pressure on them to join the Constituent Assembly. We haven’t had any 
answer yet from Hyderabad, and C.P. is behaving as badly as ever. Kash- 
mir continues to be mum. 

15. I feel greatly how much out of touch I am with the present senti- 
ments of the Hindus. Over many matters we rub each other the wrong 
way and I fear that the Constituent Assembly is not going to be an easy 
companion. The Muslim Leaguers in the Constituent Assembly have thus 
far behaved rather well. So on the whole have the States people. But 
there will be some friction over some matters. Our general proposal to 
the States is that they should join the Union immediately on the basis of 
the three subjects. Possibly many might agree. 

16. There is a terrible shortage of officers in the Government of India 
departments and elsewhere. The departure of the British element and the 
Pakistani element on top of the war shortage is making it difficult for 
us to carry on adequately. We cannot think of sending any senior or 
junior servicemen abroad till the position is clearer. 

17. What exactly do you expect us to do about the Indians in Paris? 8 

Yours affectionately, 
Jawaharlal 

6. Krishna Menon had written: “There are a number of Indians in Paris whose 
position calls for attention, and they have been constantly writing to me to 
do something about it and to go and meet them. Something should be done 
about them, at least to make them feel that they are not forgotten.” 


13. To J.B. Kripalani 1 

New Delhi 
25 July 1947 

My dear Jivat, 

I have your letter of the 25th July. I am afraid I am hard pressed for 
time and cannot answer it as fully as I would like. Any attempt to do 
so would mean a long letter. For the present I only wish to say that 

1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 


344 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


you seem to have misunderstood very much what I have said or done 
in regard to Burma or Indonesia. 

2. Whatever I have done about Burma has been in strict accordance 
with the policy laid down by the Cabinet during the last few months. 2 
There is no question of our using our forces in the quarrels of other 
countries. Our forces have been withdrawn from Burma at a rapid pace 
and only a few thousand remain at the request of the Burmese Na- 
tional Government and not of a party. These also will be coming back 
in. the course of the next few months. 

3. During the past ten months our policy has been to withdraw all 
Indian troops from overseas. We have practically succeeded in this ex- 
cept for a relatively small number in Burma and some technicians and 
specialist corps in Malaya. These also are gradually coming back. 

4. We have made it clear in Burma that our troops cannot be used to 
suppress any group or party or against the national aspirations of the 
people. They were largely meant to protect Indians there who were in 
grave danger because of disturbed conditions. We had also authorised 
the) Government (not a party) to use them for internal order if a crisis 
arose. This chiefly referred to widespread dacoities which were taking 
place there. When news was brought to me of Aung San’s murder, there 
was a grave fear that there might be looting and murder on a large 
scale in Rangoon in which Indians might be involved. I was asked that 
if this crisis arose the Indian troops there could be used. This question 
was unnecessary as our previous directions covered it. However I repeat- 
ed that if such a contingency arose, our troops could be used to protect 
people. As a matter of fact no such contingency has fortunately arisen. 

5. In regard to Indonesia, no question has arisen of the employment 
of troops or any kind of war material. 3 Indeed no such use can be made 

2. Criticising the statement of Nehru at the Working Committee meeting on 20 
July 1947 Kripalani wrote to Nehru that he (Nehru) had authorised the use of 
Indian troops in Burma evidently for policing purposes without ascertaining the 
opinion of the Working Committee. He further said that India should not 
embroil itself through the use of its troops in the internal political con- 
troversies and quarrels of foreign nations. 

3. Referring to Nehru’s statement to the press on 25 July that India would give 
all possible help to Indonesia in her present struggle, Kripalani, in the same 
letter, said that such a declaration on behalf of India could not be made 
without the question being raised in the cabinet or in the Working Com- 
mittee, if it included the use of Indian troops. 


345 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


without a formal declaration of war. The only question of help that 
arises is diplomatic help or some initiative being taken in regard to the 
U.N.O. We have pro-deeded in this matter thus far in close consultation 
with the U.K., U.S.A. and Australia. 

6. I am afraid this is a brief answer giving some facts. It does not deal 
with many of the bigger questions that you have raised. If you feel that 
these should be discussed, I shall gladly welcome the opportunity. Per- 
haps for this purpose a meeting of the Working Committee would be 
necessary. 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


14. To Tej Bahadur Sapru 1 


New Delhi 
27 July 1947 


My dear Tej Bahadurji, 

Thank you for your letter of the 21st July. 2 I am very sorry to learn 
of the state of your health. I have been wanting to go over to Allahabad 
specially to see you^ But unfortunately work here has prevented me from 
leaving Delhi. I hope, however, to visit you before very long. 

The increase of the violence is most distressing and Aung San’s murder 
has hit me very hard. I appreciate all that you have written and you 
can rest assured that I shall look after myself. 3 

I agree with you that it is distressing to see a spirit of revivalism 
spreading in India. 

Yours affectionately, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. Tej Bahadur Sapru Papers (microfilm), N.M.M.L. 

2. Though Sapru disliked partition, he saw the wisdom of the decision and 
refrained from criticism of it. While acknowledging the general feeling that parti- 
tion was an accomplished fact, he doubted whether it would be followed by 
peace. 

3. Alarmed by the murder of the Executive Councillors in Burma, Sapru feared 
for the lives of Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru at the hands of politicians 
who masqueraded as Congressmen or those who pretended to be great 
protectors of the Hindu cause. 


346 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


15. Mountbatten’s Note on Interview with Nehru 1 


I told him that Sir Stafford and Lady Cripps were probably proceeding to 
Burma in about a month’s time, and that if he had no objection, I intend- 
ed to invite them to stay with me in Delhi on the way there or back- He 
expressed great pleasure at their visit, and entirely agreed. 

2. I gave him Lord 2 and Lady Addison’s plans for their passing through 
India on the way to the Conference in Canberra on 18th/19th August. 

I told him that Lord Addison was prepared to be put up by the B.O.A.C. 
in Calcutta for that night; but Pandit Nehru was of the opinion that I 
should get in touch with the new Governor (who would probably be 
Mr. Rajagopalachari) and ask him whether he would like to put up the 
Commonwealth Relations Secretary, and even though he had only just 
taken over, he would probably be glad to do so. I undertook to do this. 

3. I also said that he would like to visit Delhi and Pakistan on his 
way back about the 25th October, and Pandit Nehru expressed great plea- 
sure at the prospect of his visit. He asked me to confirm the arrange- 
ments in writing to him when they were more fully known. 

4. I asked him whether he himself could attend the Conference in 
Canberra or send a high level representative. He told me he intended 
sending Mr. Rama Rau, who had gone as Indian Ambassador to Tokyo, 
and that he would probably give him a subordinate official from Delhi 
to put him in the picture. I urged that he should send one of his Cabinet 
Ministers from Delhi to such an important Conference, and he agreed 
he would have liked to do so but for the fact that it would mean leaving 
within a day or two of the formation of the new Government when 
nobody would have got a grip of their new portfolios or of the situation. 

1. 29 July 1947. Lord Mountbattcn Papers, Broadlands Archives, Broadlands, 
Romsey, Hampshire. 

2. Christopher, first Viscount Addison (1869-1951); practised medicine before 
entering politics; Liberal Member of Parliament. 1910-22 and Labour Mem- 
ber of' Parliament, 1929-31, and 1934-35; Minister of Reconstruction. 1917 
and of Health. 1919-21 in the Coalition government; Minister of Agriculture 
and Fisheries. 1930-31; Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, 1945- 
47; Paymaster-General. 1948-49; Lord Privy Seal, 1947-51; Leader of House 
of Lords. 1945-51. 


347 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

5. I referred to the desire of the British Government to discuss overall 
Commonwealth defence arrangements with both India and Pakistan as 
soon as the two Governments were set up, and said I thought the Chiefs 
of Stalls would either come themselves or send high powered representa- 
tives to hold discussions with the Joint Defence Council in Delhi. Pandit 
Nehru welcomed this wholeheartedly as he thought it was a most neces- 
sary move, particularly as it would facilitate discussion of questions of 
mutual assistance between Pakistan and India. 

6. I next discussed the letter from the Governor’s Secretary Bihar of 
the 18th July, about reduction of the Central Government’s grant to 
Bihar for development expenditure. I read the letter over to him, and he 
said it was the first he had heard of it, but he presumed that this was 
following the general standstill policy of the Government, and to enable 
the new Dominion Government to take stock of the situation before 
deciding what the grants should be. He told me that it was his intention 
soon after the setting up of the new Government to take up the whole 
question of planning. He had it in mind to appoint a strong Planning 
Commission and to produce a series of plans on the Russian model, a 
one-year, five-year and ten-year plan, to be revised annually. Bihar had 
a peasant population in a potentially very rich province, and its develop- 
ment would certainly not be overlooked. 

7. I next referred to the unfortunate confusion over the Commander- 
in-Chief, and the reconstitution of the Government. I assured him of my 
complete faith in Field Marshal Auchinleck’s integrity. If proof were 
needed of his impartiality, it was to be found in the fact that the League, 
Congress and the Services Clubs in London, were all equally convinced 
that he was not adequately looking after the interests of Muslims, Hindus 
and the British element. I assured him that the Field Marshal had not 
read my order splitting the Government, and that the remarks recorded 
in the minutes were made in perfectly good faith, and in complete ignor- 
ance of what the new Government policy was.- 1 I told him the C.-in-C. was 
asking Sir Chandulal Trivedi to come up and visit him at the beginnmg 
of August, and I was sure that Trivedi would be able to convince him 
of the genuineness of the misunderstanding, and help to clear up the 
confusion. 

8. I asked him whether he wished me to continue to have fortnightly 
letters from Governor, and to reply to them. I described what these 

3. See ante, section 8, item 13. 


348 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


letters were like, and he informed me that he would very much like these 
letters to continue on the condition that the Governors showed their draft 
letters to their Prime Ministers before despatch, but on the understand- 
ing that Prime Ministers would not have the power to alter a letter, but 
would have a right to demand that his version of the explanation of 
events should be included in the same letter. The Governors would show 
their Prime Ministers my letters; and I would carry out the same proce- 
dure with Pandit Nehru in Delhi. 

9. I told him I sent a weekly personal report to the King, the Prime 
Minister and the Cabinet. I presumed that after the 15th August, he 
would wish me, as a constitutional Governor-General, to cease this prac- 
tice. He told me he thought that I was quite right in offering to stop it. 
I then asked whether he had any objection to my writing a fortnightly 
letter to the King in view of the fact that he was still the King in India, 
and I was his representative. Nehru said he saw no objection whatever 
to this. I asked if I might make these letters personal, and not show 
them to Nehru. He said he trusted me implicitly in this matter, and that 
I could do as I wished. 

10. I made a great point of discussing the composition of the new 
Dominion Cabinet. I said I had no idea who the new Members would 
be, but I was absolutely convinced that unless he got a really sound 
Cabinet in which young, talented and enthusiastic members predominat- 
ed, he would lose a great opportunity of gripping the imagination of the 
country. I told him I thought his greatest weakness was his personal 
loyalty towards old friends and colleagues, and that unless he got rid 
of a lot of top-weights like Rajagopalachari, he would find himself greatly 
hampered. I told him I thought that Bhabha and Matthai should both be 
kept since they were extremely able and fearless. I told him that Baldev 
appeared to me to be unsatisfactory as Defence Member, that Rajendra 
Prasad was a dear old man, and ought to become the Speaker in the 
House, and that, in general, it was essential that he should get a crowd 
of really good young men. With such a Cabinet the Congress could re- 
main in power for the next few years; without it, it was done. 

11. He agreed in principle, but said that there was a remarkable dearth 
of good young men between the ages of 30 and 45, but it was his inten- 
tion to pick unknown men and put them in as Deputy Secretaries or 
Parliamentary Secretaries to get experience. I told him I thought that this 
was a serious matter for India, and I sincerely trusted he would give it 
his closest personal attention. I expressed the hope that he would not 


349 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


mind the constitutional Governor-General giving him this friendly advice, 
and he said that, on the contrary, he would always look to me for advice 
on such matters. 


16. To Lord Mountbatten 1 

New Delhi 
10 August, 1947 

Dear Lord Mountbatten, 

As you are aware, our view all along has been that as a result of the 
separation of some areas from India, the international position of India 
is not affected. Thus the Dominion of India continues as a member of all 
international organizations of which the old Government of India were 
members. Our Ambassadors and Ministers abroad also continue to repre- 
sent the Dominion of India just as they represented the old Government 
of India. Pakistan being a new Dominion which comes into being as a 
result of secession has to claim membership of international organisations 
as a new entity wherever the rules of membership of the organization in 
question prescribe a special procedure for the admission of new mem- 
bers. Pakistan also can develop diplomatic relations with other countries. 

2. This position has been recognised and it is stated clearly in the Order- 
in-Council, which it is proposed to issue soon. 2 Clause 2 of this Order-in- 
Council states that “membership of all international organizations together 
with the rights and obligations attaching to such membership will devolve 
solely upon the Dominion of India.” 

3. For some time past our Permanent Representative 3 with the United 
Nations in New York has been informing us that the British attitude at 
the U.N. has been different from this. I have just heard from him again 
and he tells us that “the British have informally mentioned that both the 
Dominions should succeed as members in place of the present Govern- 
ment of India.” This report is obscure and indicates that the British re- 
presentatives at the United Nations are following a policy in regard to this 
matter, which is not in conformity with our policy. 

1. File No. 32(46) /46-PMS. 

2. The Indian Independence (International Arrangements) Order, 1947, was 
issued on 14 August 1947. 

3. Dr. P.P. Pillai. 


350 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


4. I shall be grateful if you will kindly ask H.M.G. for the earliest pos- 
sible clarification of their intentions. We have, of course, no objection to 
Pakistan becoming a member of the United Nations. What we do not 
want is any interruption of our own membership. It should be made per- 
fectly clear that we continue to remain members. 4 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


4. On 13 August Mountbatten replied that the U.N.O. had agreed with Britain 
that India would continue the international personality of the “old India” 
and that Pakistan should apply for fresh membership. Liaquat Ali Khan had ac- 
cepted this view. 


351 














































10 

INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 
II. Indonesia 







INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


1. To Amir Sharifoeddin 1 

New Delhi 
6 July 1947 

Dear Mr. Sharifoeddin, 2 

Thank you for your letter of June 27th which I received yesterday. I 
have discussed this matter fully with the friends who came from Indo- 
nesia and they will, no doubt, report to you the substance of our talks. 

2. We have been following with interest and anxiety the development 
of events in Indonesia. I appreciate entirely what you say in your letter 
about these recent events and about the policy of the Dutch to inter- 
fere with your freedom. Need I say that our sympathy and the sym- 
pathy of the whole of India is with you in this matter and we would 
gladly help you to the best of our ability? 

3. As you must know, India is passing through a very critical phase 
and a part of the country is seceding from the rest. This has involved 
us in innumerable difficulties. It is true that from the 15th August on- 
wards our Government will be a substantially free Government. Never- 
theless the process of division ties our hands in many ways till the divi- 
sion is complete. This affects the Army more than any other Depart- 
ment and British administration of the Army will continue for a while. 
On the 15th of August India will become a Dominion of the British 
Commonwealth. We are at the same time evolving in our Constituent 
Assembly a constitution for an independent sovereign Republic. When 
this constitution comes into effect, probably some time next year, the 
Indian Republic will come into being. 

4. All these changes have put a great burden upon us and have pro- 
duced conditions of instability and tension. Our first problem is to form 
a stable and strong Government and at the same time to deal effectively 
with the question of the large number of Indian States. This is going to 
take up all our energy. 

5. At present our Army is almost completely under British control. 
After the 15th August it will be partly under our control as the division 
proceeds. Even so the British element in the higher ranks will be consider- 
able. We hope to have substantial control of the Army by the first of 
April next. 

1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. Prime Minister of Indonesia. July 1947-January 1948; executed in 1948. 

355 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


6. I have read in today’s papers that your Government has accepted 
the Dutch terms for an interim government. 3 I realise that you must 
have done so under extreme pressure and with a view to avoid at pre- 
sent a disastrous conflict. This acceptance produces a new situation and 
has to be dealt with as such. For the present conflict is avoided. But I 
have little doubt that the Dutch will now try to gain control of not only 
your Army but also of some of the interior areas. I do not, of course, 
know the exact terms of your agreement with them. Much would depend 
upon that. But whatever these terms might be, tension and the elements 
of conflict will remain. The Dutch will try to consolidate their new posi- 
tion and to make inroads in your existing liberties. Presumably you will 
object to this process and resist it. What is the procedure that you should 
adopt? 

7. I hesitate to suggest anything partly because it would be presumptu- 
ous on my part to advise and partly because I have not full knowledge of 
the facts. I would suggest, however, that you should explore the possibi- 
lities of international arbitration. I should have thought that even in the 
controversy of the last few months between you and the Dutch you should 
have called for arbitration in terms of your previous agreement. If the 
Dutch had refused this arbitration, you would have been in a strong 
position to appeal to world opinion. 


8. Even now, when any question of interpretation or any friction arises, 
you should immediately ask the Dutch that it should be referred to 
arbitration. This arbitration may consist of a representative of yours, 
a representative of the Dutch Government, and a third person chosen 
by the two or nominated by the International Court of Justice at The 
Hague or by the President of the United States. If the Dutch refuse 
this, then you can make a direct appeal to the Big Powers and others, 
notably to the U.S.A., and to Great Britain, and ask them to bring 
pressure to bear on the Dutch to accept arbitration which is obviously 
the right course when there is danger of conflict. The next step again 
will be for you to raise the matter before the United Nations Organiza- 
tion. It can be raised by any member of the Security Council at your 
instance. Syria is at present a member and could well do this. The last 

stage would be the consideration of the issue by the United Nations 
General Assembly. 


3. 


The Ind^^ian Coa l i ti°n Cabinet had on 5 July 1947 accepted the Dutch 

D oSS S ’for 8ree ‘?f !°, T lement ,he Linggadjati agreement. The agreement 
p vided for a United States of Indonesia under the Dutch Crown to be 

thC NethCr,andS Cr ° Wn Rep — ive * — 


356 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


9. How far all this is limited now by your new agreement, I cannot 
say. But I think that an occasion is bound to arise when you will have 
to appeal for arbitration. I am rather sorry that such an appeal was 
not made previously. 

10. We are inquiring into the matter of your credit balances with the 
Government of India. There should be no difficulty in your utilising them 
for purchases in India in terms of Indian currency. But we shall not be 
able to provide you with foreign currency or exchange except possibly 
in very small quantities for the expenses of missions etc. This matter 
and connected matters in regard to the purchase of rice by India from 
Indonesia are being inquired into by Mr. Sudarsono. 4 He has already 
met our Food Minister and will meet him again. 

11. You must be aware that we decided some time ago to send a 
Consul General to Batavia and a Consul to Jogjakarta. The whole pur- 
pose of our sending these people was to maintain intimate contacts 
with your Government and to help you in every way possible to us. 
In view, however, of the position of the Dutch internationally and to 
some extent in Indonesia, we thought that the most suitable method 
was as proposed. This would not give rise to any argument, and while con- 
forming to international usage would at the same time bring us into 
intimate contact with you. Perhaps you know that recently we have 
decided to exchange Ambassadors with the Netherlands. The position 
in regard to Indonesia was a somewhat ambiguous one from the point 
of view of strict legality and constitutional procedure. We did not wish 
to raise questions of legality and at the same time we were anxious to 
send our men there to maintain contact with you. 

12. The new agreement to which reference was made in today’s pa- 
pers rather strengthens the position of the Dutch and I do not quite 
know how it will affect the situation. Wc are going into that matter 
and we shall consult our Indonesian friends who are here before com- 
ing to a decision. It is obvious that we do not wish to do anything which 
is not approved of by your Government. Our whole purpose is to act 
in accord with your Government and to help it. 


4. An Indonesian Trade Mission headed by Dr. Sudarsono, former Food Minister, 
with about a dozen officials arrived in Delhi on 6 July 1947, to consider the 
export of 1,000,000 tons of surplus rice from Indonesia in return for textiles 
and consumer poods. The Mission included a banking expert to study Indian 
currency. 


357 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


13. I am glad to learn that you arc preparing a five-year plan of in- 
tensive development of Java and Sumatra. These islands are very rich 
in resources and 1 am quite sure that in the future they will develop 
rapidly. In so far as we can be of any help, we shall of course be avail- 
able to you. But as we are ourselves in the middle of a critical period 
of change and development, our energies are absorbed in this business. 
The next year is going to be a difficult one for us from every point of 
view. Those difficulties, however, will not prevent us from offering such 
help as we can to your Government. 

14. The main thing is that we should keep in intimate touch with 
each other and that we should know exactly what is happening in Indo- 
nesia and how and when we can help. We shall try to do so on the 
diplomatic level as well as other levels. I am eager myself to visit Indo- 
nesia; but I. fear this is not possible in the near future. 

15. Please rest assured that India and her people will stand by you in 
the future and we hope to cooperate together for our common advant- 
age. For us it is not only a question of sentiment and friendly feelings, 
but also of our own interest. We cannot look on as passive spectators 
to the establishment of European imperialism in any part of Asia, much 
less in South East Asia. That affects us and our own freedom for which 
we have struggled for so long. Our friends who arc going back to Indo- 
nesia will give you a fuller account of our conversations. 

With all good wishes to you and Merdeka, 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


2. An Impartial Tribunal for Indonesia 1 


I spoke to the Viceroy about this matter. 2 He agreed that we should 
communicate with H.M.G. and U.S.A. He suggested however that we 
should link this with the visit of the Indonesian Food Delegation here. 

J. Note, 8 July 1947. Ministry of External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, 
File No. 114-FFA/47, Vol. 1, p. 20/n.. National Archives of India. 

2. G.S. Bajpai had in his note of 8 July 1947 suggested that British and Ameri- 
can support should be secured before suggesting that the Indonesians and the 
Dutch should refer their disagreement to an impartial tribunal. 


358 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


This would give a personal touch to our message which would attract 
attention more than if we relied merely on newspaper information. 


3. Cable to Lord Listowel 1 


Reference correspondence resting with your telegram 8416 of July 3rd. 
Impression has been steadily growing in India where sympathy with In- 
donesian nationalist aspirations is very strong that the Dutch having 
now collected a large army in Java will try to overwhelm the Indonesi- 
ans by military force unless Dutch demands are accepted. Our informa- 
tion derived from Indonesian Food Mission which has just arrived in 
India is that such a move may be made at any moment. This lends to 
situation a degree of urgency which in our opinion calls for immediate 
mediatory initiative to prevent outbreak of hostilities a development 
which is likely to have gravest repercussions. For although Dutch may 
score military victory against main body of Indonesian army guerilla 
warfare will persist. Indonesians may suffer great hardship but hostili- 
ties will be protracted and strain on Holland’s resources in men and 
money will be so great as to weaken that country permanently in Euro- 
pe without any countervailing gain in Asia. (Indeed hostile action against 
Indonesia will involve for Holland the forfeiture of sympathy of the 
whole of Asia.) Meanwhile disturbed state of important segment of 
South East Asia will be| a constant threat to the peace of the whole of 
that region and economic recovery of the world will be hampered by 
paralysis of economic recovery in Indonesia. Apart from their strong 
moral sympathy for the cause of Indonesian freedom. Government of 
India feel these broad political and economic considerations render a 
speedy, just and peaceful settlement of Indonesian problem imperative. 
Moreover Indonesia is a source of food supply whose security and pros- 
perity are of vital importance to India. 

2. Since negotiations which have now lasted for some months have 
failed to resolve differences between the Indonesians and the Dutch, 
Government of India think that as provided in article 17(2) of the 
Linggadjati Agreement all matters in dispute arising out of the agree- 
ment should be referred to arbitration- We understand that this agree- 
ment has been ratified by both countries and in view of grave consc- 

1. New Delhi, 8 July 1947. V.K. Krishna Menon Papers, N.M.M.L. 


359 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


quences of an outbreak of hostilities it seems to be duty of both parties 
to resort to an agreed and peaceful method of settlement such as arbi- 
tration by an impartial body. The Government of India propose to sug- 
gest this procedure to both the Dutch and the Indonesian Governments. 
They would be glad if H.M.G. in U.K. and Government of U.S.A. 
both of whom are conscious of urgent need of restoring stability and 
peace to Indonesia will lend strong diplomatic support to this proposal. 
In view of urgency of matter an expression of H.M.G.’s opinion is im- 
mediately requested. Steps are being taken to ascertain attitude of U.S. 
Government through the American Ambassador in New Delhi and also 
through Indian Ambassador in Washington. 


4. Cable to Lord Listowel 1 


New Delhi 


18 July 1947 

Your telegram 9091 dated July 15th. Indonesia. According to report ap- 
pearing in this morning’s papers present Indonesian Premier declared 
over Radio Jogjakarta on July 16th that “In full knowledge of our res- 
ponsibility, the Republic has rejected all Dutch demands and the situa- 
tion is critical. The TDutch attitude leaves no doubt that they want to 
avert the road of peace”. According to same report a high Netherlands 
informant said that Dutch executive would decide on July 17th whether 
military action would be undertaken against Indonesian Republic and 
indicated that such action was extremely likely. It is not possible for 
us to appraise accuracy of these reports. We will repeat however that 
outbreak of hostilities in Indonesia will be a threat to peace of whole 
of Soutl* East Asia and a hindrance to economic recovery of the world. 
Indian opinion is profoundly disturbed by possibility of military action 
on the part of Dutch and we would strongly urge H.M.G. should do 
everything in their power to prevent an armed conflict. 

2. As regards Dutch contention that Article No. 17 of Linggadjati Agree- 
ment is not applicable to their present differences with Indonesia but 
only to disputes over interpretation, we confess that we have been un- 
able to follow the arguments. Prima facie , present differences relate to 
matters which are covered by agreement and therefore can legitimately be 


1. V.K. Krishna Menon Papers, N.M.M.L. 


360 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


regarded as differences of interpretation. In our view political difficul- 
ties of this kind are not likely to be resolved by too legalistic an ap- 
proach; they require, for their solution, a spirit of conciliation and com- 
promise. If negotiations between two parties have failed to yield results, 
resort to arbitration by a third party is surely a better method of reach- 
ing a satisfactory settlement than resorting to force with all its dangerous 
consequences. We feel therefore that this method should be recommend- 
ed to the Dutch. If desirability of arbitration is accepted it shall be pos- 
sible to devise steps to secure the agreement of both parties to resort 
to this method of settlement. 

3. We are not quite clear as to whether reported breakdown of nego- 
tiations results from failure to agree on a joint gendarmerie . If this 
should be the only cause of difference we would strongly support the 
suggestion of H.M.G. for setting up of a Police Commission of neutral 
experts. In our view considerations of national prestige ought not to be 
allowed to stand in the way of acceptance of such an eminently reason- 
able suggestion. 


5. Cable to Lord Listowel 1 

New Delhi 
22 July 1947 

Our telegram 5652 of July 18th. 2 Indonesia. In view of outbreak of 
hostilities there we have decided that our point of view should be pre- 
sented orally to representatives of H.M.G. in United Kingdom. We have 
therefore instructed Krishna Menon to see you and also the Foreign 
Secretary. We shall be grateful if you will arrange for Krishna Menon 
to see Mr. Bevin as soon as possible (the urgency of the situation makes 
this necessary) and for any support that you can give him. 

2. Our telegrams 5308 of 8th July and 5652 of 18th July contained 
all the background and we should like copies of these to be handed 
over to Krishna Menon. 

1. V.K. Krishna Menon Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. See the preceding item. 

361 


SELECTED WORKS OE JAWAIIARLAL NEHRU 


6. Cable to V.K. Krishna Menon 1 

New Delhi 
22 July 1947 

Your most immediate telegram 1435 of July 22nd. 2 3 4 Indonesia. You 
should call on Mr. Bevin and inform him that starting of hostili- 
ties by Dutch, in particular the bombing of towns, has come to us as 
a climactic shock. Prolongation of conflict is likely to threaten the peace 
of whole of South East Asia and to hamper the economic recovery of 
world by paralysing economic recovery of Indonesia. We therefore strong- 
ly urge His Majesty’s Government to use their utmost endeavour to 
bring about an immediate cessation of hostilities and to have dispute be- 
tween Dutch and Indonesians referred to arbitration by a third party. 
Even if Dutch should have denounced Linggadjati agreement, reference 
of dispute to arbitration can be justified on its merits. If Dutch will 
not listen to reason and stop hostilities and accept percentage, His 
Majesty’s Government should consider immediate reference of whole 
background to Security Council. This would seem to be permissible 
under Article No. 34 :{ read with Article No. 35 1 of Charter of United 
Nations. 

Paragraph 2. We hope very much that H.M.G. will see their way to ac- 
cept the suggestions made in preceding paragraph. These are a com- 

1. V.K. Krishna Menon Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. Krishna Menon asked Nehru whether he should meet any British 
minister and convey India's concern about the situation in Indonesia 
and offer India’s help, or he should meet Van Boetzelaer at The Hague and 
make representations showing India's interest in maintaining peace in Asia, 
or on his (Nehru’s) behalf he should discuss with H.M.G. immediate action 
to prevent development of conflict endangering peace in Asia and if desired 
discuss possibilities of raising matter immediately in the Security Council. He 
also asked Nehru if he could discuss with H.M.G. the possibility and desira- 
bility of issuing some public statement either “parallel or jointly with H.M.G.” 
expressing India’s concern and desire for peaceful solution and imperative 
necessity for arbitration invoking clauses of the Dutch-Indonesian agreement. 

3. Article 34: The Security Council may investigate any dispute, or any situa- 
tion which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute, in 
order to determine whether the continuance of the dispute or situation is likely 
to endanger the maintenance of international peace* and security. 

4. Article 35: 1. Any member of the United Nations may bring any dispute, or 
any* situation of the nature referred to in Article 34, to the attention of the 
Security Council or of the General Assembly. 

2. A State which is not a Member of the United Nations may bring to the 
attention of the Security Council or the General Assembly any dispute to which 
it is a party if it accepts in advance, for the purposes of the dispute, the obliga- 
tions of pacific settlement provided in the present Charter.... 


362 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


bination of (one) and (three) of your telegram under reply. If they 
are unable to do so we shall in all probability decide to take matter to 
United Nations ourselves. Should H.M.G. sec their way to act on line 
suggested by us we would of course be happy to associate ourselves with 
any demarches that they may make. 

Paragraph 3. We are quite willing to associate ourselves with H.M.G. 
in a public statement expressing our concern over latest developments 
and our desire for a peaceful solution by resorting to arbitration. Na- 
turally, if H.M.G. find themselves unable to take action on the line sug- 
gested by us, we shall have to adjust our publicity to such a decision 
as we may, in that eventuality, decide to take. Meanwhile we are issu- 
ing a short statement expressing our anxiety over resumption of hostili- 
ties and our earnest hope that every effort will be made to terminate 
them and to substitute for the use of force conciliation and compromise. 

Paragraph 4. India Office arc being asked to give you every facility to 
interview Mr. Bevin and to give you copies of our telegrams Nos. 5308 
dated July 8th 1947 and 5652 dated July 18th which contain texts of 
representations that we have already made to H.M.G. Representations 
on the lines of paragraphs one and two of present telegram are being 
made to U.S. Government through their Ambassador in New Delhi. 

Paragraph 5. Text of our telegram to Secretary of State for India is re- 
peated in immediately following telegram. I would suggest that you sec 
Lord Listowel first and communicate to him substance of your instru- 
ctions. Please also inform him of line of our approach to American 
Ambassador in New Delhi. 


7. On Dutch Aggression in Indonesia 1 


The sudden attack by the Dutch in Indonesia 2 is an astounding thing 

1. Statement to the press, New Delhi, 24 July 1947. The Hindu, 26 July 1947. 

2. The Dutch Government gave to the U.N. as reasons for ‘police measures’ the 
Indonesian Republic's unwillingness or inability to implement the Linggadjati 
agreement, violation of the truce, acts of force throughout the Archipelago, 
senseless destruction of valuable property, food blockade and the taking of 
hostages. The Dutch Prime Minister, on 20 July 1947, ordered a full-scale 
attack to crush the Indonesian Republic. 


363 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


which the new spirit of Asia will not tolerate. Apart from the merits of 
the case, no European country, whatever it might be, has any business 
to use its army in Asia. Foreign armies functioning on Asian soil are 
themselves an outrage to Asian sentiment. The fact that they are bomb- 
ing defenceless people is a scandalous thing. If other members of the 
United Nations tolerate this or remain inactive, then the United Nations 
Organisation ceases to be. 

So far as India is concerned, we will give every possible help. 


8. Cable to V.K. Krishna Menon 1 

New Delhi 
25 July 1947 

Your most immediate telegram No. 1489 dated July 24th. I have not so 
far heard • anything from you regarding steps that H.M.G. may have 
decided to take in respect of conflict now raging in Indonesia. 2 I have 
however received today from Listowel a telegram (repeated in my im- 
mediately succeeding telegram) which says that, in reply to offer of 
good offices made to Netherlands Government by H.M.G. on July 22nd, 
the Netherlands Government have taken note of offer and added that 
it would depend on developments whether and if so when they (the 
Dutch) would consider it opportune to make another appeal to friendly 
United States of America and British Governments. 

Paragraph 2. Meantime Shahrir has arrived as representative! of Presi- 
dent of Indonesian Republic and has brought me letters both from Presi- 
dent and from Premier. According to these communications the Dutch 
Air Force without warning and while Republic delegates were still at 
Djakarta (Batavia) bombed Republic air fields causing wanton destruc- 
tion and hardship. My conversation with Shahrir confirms impressions 
which we had formed from press and other reports that so-called police 
action by Dutch is an extirpation and long prepared military campaign 
whose real purpose is to inflict complete military defeat on Republic and 
thus prepare way for a political settlement entirely favourable to Dutch. 

1. V.K. Krishna Menon Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. Krishna Menon had informed Nehru that he had met Listowel and Bevin 
and concluded that H.M.G., whose final decision would be known the next 
day, had been seized of the urgency and importance of the problem in Indonesia 
and that active steps were being taken to obtain cessation of that unhappy 
situation there. 


364 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


While offer of H.M.G. to mediate may have been satisfactory at one 
time, in view of Dutch reply and in particular the progress of Dutch 
forces it is impossible for us to be satisfied with it now. No one in India 
or anywhere in Asia will believe that if Governments of United Kingdom 
and of U.S.A. really desired to bring this conflict to an end, they could 
not do it immediately without military intervention. Holland’s economic 
as well as political dependence on these two countries is such that its 
Government could not afford to forfeit their goodwill and support by 
a refusal to end hostilities and reach a settlement with Indonesians by 
peaceful means. In our view the time for formal offers of mediation is 
past. I would add in parenthesis that Mr. Bevin’s refusal to commit him- 
self on the subject of supply of equipment and facilities to the Dutch 
is hardly calculated to persuade the Dutch to take offer of mediation by 
H.M.G. seriously. 3 

Paragraph 3. It is for H.M.G. to determine what positive action they 
can take to bring about an immediate end to this conflict. But if H.M.G. 
are unable to take effective action to end hostilities and restore ... 4 of 
dispute to a peaceful plan, we shall have no option but to take the matter 
before United Nations Security Council. In our view if H.M.G. wish to 
avoid what they consider to be inconveniences of this course it is up to 
them to devise means which would render recourse to Security Council un- 
necessary. We should have thought that in view of tactics adopted by 
Dutch, H.M.G. would spontaneously have ... 5 aid of United Nations. That 
organisation obviously exists to exert itself in cause of peace if other 
methods to preserve peace fail. It would be impossible for us to induce 
public opinion in India to accept view that our efforts to persuade 
H.M.G. to induce the Dutch to resort to arbitration having failed we 
could do nothing but to watch the Dutch prosecute their military cam- 
paign to a successful end. 

Paragraph 4 . The U.S.A. Ambassador to whom representations on the 
lines of your instructions were made the day before yesterday has not 
yet had a reply from his Government. We propose to approach him 
again in order to emphasise urgency of situation and verify need for 
immediate and more effective action. I hope that you will impress upon 
H.M.G. what we propose to impress upon U.S.A. Ambassador, namely, 
that failure* for whatever reason of foreign policy of two Great Powers to 

3. On 21 July 1947, the British Foreign Office announced that it had offered, in 

consultation with the United States Government, its services to both sides to help 
in ending the dispute. 

4 & 5. Omission in the source. 


365 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


intervene effectively in cause of peace and on side of a people struggling 
for their freedom cannot but create most unfortunate impression in India 
and in all Asian countries. 

Paragraph 5. If case should go to Security Council it is our intention 
that you should present it on our behalf. You may wish to make pro- 
visional passage arrangements to meet this contingency. 


9. Cable to V.K. Krishna Menon 1 


New Delhi 
26 July 1947 

Reference para. 3 of my most immediate telegram No- 5892 dated July 
25th. 2 

2. We are informed that Security Council will recess from August 12th. 
If therefore the case has to be referred to Security Council! this must be 
done within the next two or three days. I hope yoii will make this clear 
to H.M.G. and say that we should like an answer to our various sug- 
gestions by the 28th or 29th at least. Meanwhile (this is! for your infor- 
mation) we are preparing the case for the U.N. Security Council. 

1. Ministry of External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, File No. 114- 
FEA/47, Vol. I, Sr. No. 69/corr.. National Archives of India. 

2. See the preceding item. 


10. Cable to V.K. Krishna Menon 1 

New Delhi 
28th July 1947 

Your telegram 1518 of 26th July. You should by now have received 
my No. 5892 of 25th July.- Speed of Dutch military operations presages 

1. V.K. Krishna Menon Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. See ante, item 8. 


366 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


collapse of Indonesian organised resistance in matter of days and it is 
most unlikely that Dutch Government will pay any heed to United 
Kingdom-United States of America mediation after their immediate 
military objectives have been attained. Personally I must express pro- 
found disappointment at slowness with which these two Great Powers 
have handled a situation of great urgency and grave international im- 
portance. Even though appeal to United Nations may bring no imme- 
diate relief to hard-pressed Indonesians, it will rouse moral conscience 
of the world. I have to consider mounting pressure of public opinion in 
India and in Asia and can no longer delay approach to United Nations 
under Article 35 of Charter. We shall lodge our complaint with Secretary 
General or President of Security Council on Tuesday the 29th July 
unless Anglo-American mediation proves fruitful before that date. 
Tomorrow (5 p.m. Indian standard time) I shall hold press conference 
at which I shall explain action taken by us so far and prepare press lor 
our next step. Please inform His Majesty’s Government. We shall inform 
U.S. Ambassador. 

Paragraph 2. Dutch Government is now operating five air services to 
Batavia via Karachi and Calcutta every week. These are not civilian 
services and can be terminated by us under agreement made in 1945. 
Details of agreement will be telegraphed to Secretary of State tomorrow. 
We have decided to inform Dutch charge d’affaires in New Delhi to- 
morrow of our decision to stop these services. 


11. The War in Indonesia 1 


India has been and is specially interested in the freedom of the peoples 
of Asia. The recent Asian Conference held in Delhi was a symbol not 


I. Interview to the press, New Delhi, 28 July 1947. The Hindu , 30 July 1947. 


367 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


only of the resurgence of Asia, but also of the cooperation of the differ- 
ent countries of Asia, for peace and freedom. Asia, having suffered great- 
ly in the past from foreign domination and exploitation, is determined to 
end it. Any attack on the freedom of the people in any part of Asia 
affects the rest of this great continent. The mere presence of a colonial 
regime or of foreign troops in any Asian country is an insult and a 
challenge to Asia. It is also a danger to peace. An attempt to continue 
colonialism will not only endanger peace but will also come in the way 
of economic recovery the world over. Even the rich and powerful coun- 
tries of the world cannot prosper unless Asia prospers and has advancing 
standards. 

The Government of India have followed with the closest interest events 
in Indonesia. Last year the people of India were greatly touched by the 
offer of rice from the Indonesian Republic at a time when many in India 
were starving . 2 They looked with the fullest sympathy on the struggle for 
freedom and- independence of the Indonesian Republic. 

Soon after the Linggadjati Agreement, the United Kingdom gave de 
facto recognition to the Indonesian Republic . 3 The Government of India 
did likewise 4 and it was hoped to develop close relations between India 
and Indonesia. That agreement was delayed for many months by the 
Dutch authorities. However, when it came, it was welcomed as a step 
towards world peace and ending of colonialism. That agreement con- 
tained a specific clause for arbitration . 5 6 Since then there have been many 
minor disputes about the agreement. 

Three weeks ago, when these disputes seemed to take a dangerous turn,® 
the Government of India addressed the United Kindom on the subject 
and asked them to endeavour to prevent any conflict. The United States 
of America were also informed of this. Since then, the Government of 
India have been constantly drawing the attention of the United Kingdom 
and the United States of America to the dangerous developments that 


2. An agreement for the supply of 700,000 tons of paddy to India in return for 
Indian consumer goods was signed on 27 July 1946. 

3. British de facto recognition of the Indonesian Republican Government was 
announced on 31 March 1947. 

4. On 29 May 1947. 

5. Article 17 (b) : The Netherlands Government and the Government of the 
Republic shall settle by arbitration any dispute which might arise from this 
Agreement, and which cannot be solved by joint consultation in a conference 
between those delegations .... 

6. Differences of opinion arose especially regarding the composition and voting 
procedure of the proposed federal Government, the question of a joint Dutch- 
Indonesian police, and the restoration of Dutch property and plantations. 


368 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


were taking place in Indonesia and suggesting arbitration or some other 
methods of solving the difficulty. 

In any event, it has been pointed out that there should be no armed 
warfare or hostilities which might endanger the peace of South East Asia 
and possibly the world. But the Dutch Government have paid no atten- 
tion to such appeals. Instead, they seem to have carried on negotiations 
with the Indonesians at the point of the bayonet, giving repeated ultima- 
tums. That surely is not the way to carry on any negotiation and no self- 
respecting country could tolerate it. Nevertheless, the Indonesian Repub- 
lic tried patiently to meet every point raised by the Dutch and accepted 
most of their demands in order to avoid a conflict. Only one matter re- 
mained 7 and this was being discussed when the Dutch ended all negotia- 
tions and immediately started hostilities. With hardly any notice, the 
whole war machine was set in motion and air attacks were made all 
over the islands and a number of cities were bombed. The offer of the 
Indonesians to submit the dispute to arbitration in terms of the Ling- 
gadjati Agreement had been rejected by the Dutch who were evidently 
eager to start warlike operations. 

During all these past weeks, the contrast between the patience and 
spirit of conciliation of the Indonesians on the one hand and the tactics 
of the Dutch on the other has been, most marked. What is called police 
action is a well-organised war with bombing of towns on a large scale. 
The Indonesian Republic has no means of meeting these air attacks 
either from the air or from the ground. It is thus a very simple affair to 
bomb defenceless people and kill them. 

Apart from the horror of this sudden attack, vital questions of prin- 
ciple are raised. Can any country be allowed to indulge in aggression of 
this type and to refuse arbitration? Even if there had been no Linggadjati 
Agreement with its reference to arbitration, still arbitration must be an 
essential preliminary before any aggressive action is taken. If any Power 
can act, as it chooses, in such matters, then there is no purpose left for 
the United Nations. It will have no prestige or authority and is bound 
to fade away. 

The Government of India are intensely interested in the preservation 
of peace in the world and in the realisation of freedom by all people 
who at present lack it. In pursuance of this policy, they adhered to the 
United Nations and associated themselves with the United Nations 

7. On 17 July A.K. Gani, first Vice-Premier in the Sharifoeddin Cabinet, announc- 
ed in reply to the Dutch ultimatum of 10 July demanding “satisfaction at 
short notice” that the proposed inclusion of Dutch troops in the security 
forces for Java and Sumatra remained unacceptable. All other points of the 
Linggadjati Agreement under dispute were accepted by the Republic. 


369 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


Charter. They have believed, and still believe, that without world coope- 
ration it will not be possible to promote peace, freedom or progress in 
the world. The alternative to this world cooperation is conflict and war 
on a vast scale. 

The United Nations offered the basis for this cooperation and is at 
present the only organisation which can possibly achieve it. People all 
over the world have, therefore, looked towards the United Nations with 
hope, though sometimes this hope is tempered by misgivings. The old 
League of Nations failed because it had no effective sanctions behind 
it and because it had no machinery for quick decision or action. Profiting 
by that example, the United Nations Organisation has established some 
machinery for rapid decision, the Security Council, and has aimed at 
having effective sanctions. 

The League of Nations failed because it allowed aggression to take 
place without any attempt to check it. At first there were relatively petty 
aggressions as at Corfu, then followed major aggressions in Manchuria 
and in Abyssinia. s Some feeble steps were taken in regard to these, but 
they made little difference. Spain followed with the so-called non-inter- 
vention policy . 0 All these local wars led up to the Second World War. 

If we are to profit by past errors and mistakes, we must avoid them. 
Or else we shall have the same cycle of a succession of petty conflicts, 
leading to a major catastrophe. The United Nations, therefore, as well 
as all the members of the United Nations, can only remain passive, when 
any aggression takes place, even at a distance from them, at their peril 
and at the peril of the world. It is essential, therefore, for us to be 
vigilant and to nip trouble in the bud before it becomes too widespread 
to be controlled. 

The conscience of the world has been deeply stirred by events in 
Indonesia, for they foreshadow the ending of the world structure which 

8. In 1923 Greece appealed to the League when Mussolini issued an ultimatum 
demanding an indemnity of 50 million lira following the murder in Corfu of 
some Italian members of a Greecc-Albania border commission. Mussolini 
threatened resignation from the League and did not withdraw from Corfu till 
the indemnity had been paid. In 1932 the League condemned Japan’s attack 
upon China in Manchuria. In retaliation Japan left the League. In 1935 the 
League tried to protect Abyssinia from an attack by Italy. Italy left the 
League which was unable to go beyond limited economic sanctions. 

9. The setting up of a Non-Intervention Committee by France and Britain during 
the Spanish civil war of 1936 to minimise the danger of international con- 
flict had the practical effect of depriving the Republic of its international 
rights as a legally constituted Government to buy arms whereas the Nation- 
alists enjoyed the advantage of troops and military supplies from Ttaly and 
Germany. 


370 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


the United Nations have sought to build. The consequences of this are 
terrible to contemplate. This is not the time for bickering amongst big or 
small Powers, but for a joint effort to put an end immediately to this 
brutal method of gaining political objectives. Aggression and the use of 
force and violence to settle political problems must be ruled out. If force 
has to be used, only the United Nations should be permitted to use it 
for the common good. The alternative to this is a common peril and a 
common destruction. 

The people of Asia may not today be strong enough to resist success- 
fully foreign aggression. But they are not very weak either and they 
have means and resources at their disposal to combat aggression. It can 
be said with certainty that no such aggression will succeed in the long 
run. In the short run it may well lead to great misery. 

It is essential, therefore, for hostilities in Indonesia to end immediately 
and for the status quo previous to the aggression to be established. Any 
change brought about by the aggression of a country over another must 
not be recognised. It is necessary for the United Nations to take heed 
of this challenge to its Charter and to world peace and move with speed 
to meet it. 

So far as I know, some efforts were also made by other countries to 
check the Netherlands Government and the Dutch people from taking 
military action in Indonesia. I do not know the details of that, but I 
believe the U.K., the U.S.A. and Australia were considerably interested 
and efforts were made before the outbreak of hostilities and immediately 
after, but none of them has so far succeeded. You know that we have 
at the present moment a very eminent and august personality here in 
Delhi, Dr. Shahrir, ex-Prime Minister of the Indonesian Republic, and 
at present the official representative of the President of the Republic . 10 
So he is here not only iff a non-official capacity but officially represent- 
ing the Republic. He brought to me* letters from President Soekarno and 
Prime Minister Amir Sharifoeddin. He has been of help to us in under- 
standing the position in Indonesia, although the mam outlines were clear 
enough. We have, naturally, assured him of our fullest sympathy both as 
a Government and as a people. Sympathy was inevitable, but, quite apart 
from the merits of the case — and the merits are considerable also — the 
real question for any Government or people to consider is this larger 
question of military action and aggression by any nation against another 


10. Shahrir was entrusted by President Soekarno with the mission of visiting 
overseas countries with a view to securing all possible help for Indonesia. 
He escaped from Java on 22 July and arrived in India on 24 July 1947. 


371 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


without reference to any international organisation or to arbitration be- 
cause once you admit that, then there is no check left 

Who is to judge the merits? The nation that attacks? Obviously, that 
is not good, but it is only the nation that attacks that becomes the judge 
in such cases. Therefore, this raises a very vital international issue con- 
nected with world peace. 

I pay a tribute to the very gallant Indian airman who brought 
Dr. Shahrir from Indonesia to Delhi . 11 He has been known to us for 
a number of years not only for his great efficiency in flying but 
also for his adventurous and daring spirit. I believe that he is not an 
exception among our pilots and airmen. There are many amongst them 
who have that efficiency and that daring, and it is good for India that 
we should have such young men. 

Question: Was the question of severance of diplomatic relations 

considered? 

Jawaharlal Nehru: No. Because the immediate issue before us is, first 

of all, how to stop hostilities. Secondly — and it is allied to it — how to take 
the matter to the United Nations Organisation- Other steps might follow. 
The severance of diplomatic relations may be a fine gesture, but what we 
want at the present moment is to achieve something and not merely make 
a gesture. 

The Government of India had been thinking of moving the U.N. right 
from the first day, but thought that the proper way, and the more profit- 
able way, to do so was in conjunction with other Powers, notably the 
U.K. and the U.S.A. We immediately put ourselves in communication with 
them with that purpose in view. We have also been in touch with Aus- 
tralia with regard to this matter, and during the last few days numerous 
communications have passed between us. Now we have arrived at a stage 
when, apart from formal and informal approaches we have made to 
various countries, we propose within a few hours, if nothing happens, 
to make a formal approach to the United Nations . 12 

Q: What exactly do you mean when you say, “If nothing 

happens”? 

JN: Obviously, if some step is taken to stop hostilities, we think afresh. 

11. Bijoyanand Patnaik (b. 1916); pilot and industrialist, Chief Minister, Orissa, 
1961-63; Union Minister for Steel and Mines, 1977-79 and for Steel, Mines 
and Coal, 1979-January 1980. 

12. On 30 July, India and Australia took the Indonesian case to the U.N. Security 
Council. 


372 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


Q: Could you say that the response you got from the U.K. and 

the U.S.A. was sympathetic? 

JN: Certainly. Such steps are taken after due intimation to other 

Governments. One functions, as far as possible, in cooperation with other 
Governments and, therefore, we have to give intimation to other Govern- 
ments whom we wish to join in such a step and some time has to be given 
for that. Therefore, we propose to take this step tomorrow morning. So far 
as we are concerned we have decided to make this formal reference to 
the United Nations Organisation. 

The Government have taken a decision to terminate almost immedia- 
tely, may be tomorrow, the Dutch air services flying over India. You 
might have heard that about three or four months ago a civil air agree- 
ment was arrived at between the Netherlands Government and the Gov- 
ernment of India. 13 As a matter of fact, that agreement has not been 
given effect to yet. But a temporary agreement was entered into soon 
after the war ended in 1945. It is under that temporary agreement that 
the Dutch Government-owned aircraft fly across India. We are going to 
put an end to that temporary agreement of 1945. The other agreement 
has not started going yet and before it starts, we will be informed about 
it and then we shall consider the question. 

Q: Will the Government of India consider stopping harbour facili- 

ties for Dutch ships? 

JN: The question has not arisen before us. We are prepared to con- 

sider that but it has not arisen before us. 

Q: Will the Government propose to take up this question with 

Ceylon? 

JN: We can certainly inform the Ceylonese Government and express 

the hope that they will also help in this. As a matter of fact, I am not 
quite clear how far the authority of the Ceylonese Government at the 
present moment extends. Probably, the Colonial Office in London will 
have a big say in the matter. 

Q: Do you think that this step against Dutch air traffic will have 

any real effect on what is going on in Indonesia? 

JN: Not a real effect in the military sense, because obviously the action 

13. An air transport agreement between India and the Netherlands was signed 
in New Delhi on 31 May 1947. 


373 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAf fARLAL NEHRU 


that has taken place there was carefully planned and prepared for months 
ahead. But it is something which docs come in the way of their com- 
munications with their homeland and in that sense it interferes. I am sure 
air traffic did take big guns and things like that. It might have taken, 
possibly, military personnel, that is, officers. 

Q: Will a similar ban be imposed on other air services passing 

through India if they* carry any kind of supplies to the Dutch Gov- 
ernment for its hostilities? 

JN: A ban can be imposed, certainly, but it is not very easy to check 

it, unless there is very great scrutiny of each plane. 

Q: Are you acting in consultation with the Governor-General- 

designatc of Pakistan? 

JN: We have kept the representatives of the prospective Government 

of Pakistan in touch with all developments and have consulted them 
wherever it was necessary. Of course, generally speaking they are in 
complete sympathy with our approach. They arc not functioning as a 
Government and in some matters it is rather difficult to deal with them 
as a Government. Nevertheless, we approached them and we have no 
doubt that they will agree with any action that we might take. 14 

Q: Will the Pakistan Government also apply the same sanctions? 

JN: We have been in touch with the Pakistan authorities on this issue. 

I have no doubt that they will agree. 

As regards the communications between the Government of India and 
the U.K. and the U.S.A., I would mention that they agreed that it would 
be desirable to stop hostilities as soon as possible and that they would do 
their best towards that end. 

Q: In other words, you have the full cooperation of those 

Governments. 

JN: It is a little difficult to say, but there is general agreement, I 
believe, that hostilities can be stopped; in what manner exactly they 
arc? envisaging to do it, it is difficult for me to say. I think it is correct 
to say that this Dutch military action in Indonesia lias shocked not only 

14. Liaquat Ali Khan declared on 30 July that Pakistan ftdly supported the Indian 
stand on the Indonesian question and would also not permit Dutch aircraft 
to land or use any facilities in Pakistan. 


374 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


the so-called liberal elements in other countries, but even others who 
normally might not have much sympathy for the colonial peoples. 

Q: Is the Government of India in touch with the Dutch Govern- 

ment representative here? 

JN: The Dutch representative left some weeks ago and a new 

Ambassador is expected . 15 So, there are no senior men representing the 
Dutch Government at this time, but they are kept informed of our views 
and possible activities- The Government will certainly inform the Dutch 
Ambassador when he arrives here of the steps we have taken. 

Q: Will the matter be referred to the Security Council straightway 

or the U.N. General Assembly which will meet in September? 

JN: There is no point in waiting. The whole object of reference is that 

there should be an immediate meeting of the Security Council, may be 
within four or five days or a week of the reference. The Security Council 
is supposed to be in permanent session. 

Both from the Indonesian point of view as well as from the larger 
world point of view, the only effective step at the present moment is to 
raise the matter before the U.N. We propose to do that. 

Q: Have you considered the question of sending direct military 

aid to Indonesia? 

JN: No. And we do not propose to consider that. 

Q: Do the Government of India propose to accord de jure re- 

cognition to the Indonesian Republic? 

JN: I have stated that we gave de facto recognition. Not only we but 
some other countries have also done so because that represented the 
actual state of affairs at the time. We did so in consultation with the 
Indonesian Republic. You must remember that there is a certain limit 
to action being taken unless one is prepared to go to war. Normally, a 
country does not rush into war because it feels strongly about a question. 
Going to war is a very serious matter. Going to war, apart from being 
a serious matter, puts an end to all the other methods. People talk very 
loosely, therefore, of our sending military help etc. to Indonesia. It 
would make in the military sense not the slightest difference to anybody 

15. The appointment of A.T.H. Lamping as Dutch ambassador to India was 
announced on 14 July 1947. 


375 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


Unless it was on a very big scale, which is a very difficult matter. We 
are not at war with the Dutch Government and do not propose to be at 
war with the Dutch Government or with any other nation and the fact 
that we might accord de jure recognition to the Indonesian Republic will 
have no meaning or relation to facts. We followed the Linggadjati 
Agreement when we gave de facto recognition. The Indonesians them- 
selves under that agreement had acknowledged a certain de jure sove- 
reignty of the Queen of the Netherlands. We could hardly go beyond what 
the Indonesians themselves have done. What the future holds I do not 
know. But it would serve no purpose at all except a vague flourishing 
in the air for us to say that we recognise de jure the Indonesian Republic. 

Q: Will the Government consider the question of sending medical 

help in view of the urgent request made by the Indonesian Govern- 
ment? 

JN: That, certainly, is a matter which can be considered , 10 but it is not 
an easy matter to organise these things at the present moment. We have 
given some thought to it, and in the state of affairs prevailing in Java 
at the present moment, it is not quite clear where to send the medical 
help and how to use it. One has to find out, but it is a thing which we 
are considering and if we do not succeed or the U.N. does not succeed 
in putting an end to hostilities very soon, undoubtedly further steps will 
be taken to give them medical help etc. 

Q: Will India supply arms to Indonesia? 

JN: For any Government to give arms to another Government is tanta- 

mount to declaring war or to be on the eve of war. We do not propose 
to declare war for various reasons, because we do not think that is go- 
ing to help either the Indonesians or ourselves or anybody. 

Q: Will the Government take steps to see that private Dutch 

purchasing agencies or the Dutch Trade Commissioner in Bombay 
do not purchase goods in the Indian market which they can use 
against the Indonesians? 

JN: We will enquire how far they arc purchasing goods here. 

16. In response to an appeal from the Indonesian Red Cross, an Indian Medical 
Mission led by Dr. P.L. Nurulla and carrying 7,000 pounds of medical sup- 
plies left on 23 August 1947. 


376 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


Q: What do you intend to do in case of disturbances in Burma? 

JN : It is not our business, of course, to interfere in the internal politics 

of any other country but things happen sometimes which transcend the 
boundaries of internal politics and in which other countries must of neces- 
sity take interest, especially a country like India in relation! to Burma. 

I met General Aung San a dozen years ago when the latter was Presi- 
dent of the Students’ Union in Rangoon and subsequently at the Ram- 
garh Congress. 17 It is really a tremendous tragedy that a person from 
whom not only Burma but all of us hoped so much should have been 
suddenly done to death. Most countries that have been involved in na- 
tional struggle for freedom are apt to become rather narrow-minded. 
General Aung San, however, succeeded in rising above that narrow- 
mindedness and had considerable vision. Apart from this, the manner 
of his murder, that is, the use of these purely gangster methods is an 
abomination and everyone must condemn it. 

17. Arung San was at the Congress session at Ramgarh held in March 1940 and 
brought a message from the Burmese people. 


12. Cable to V.K. Krishna Menon 1 

New Delhi 
29th July 1947 

Your most immediate telegram 1591 July 29th. I confess that Bevin’s 
reply 2 is not very hopeful. Nevertheless in compliance with his request 
we have abruptly postponed our approach to United Nations Security 
Council until tomorrow July 30th. Text of our communication to Coun- 
cil which is repeated in my immediately following telegram will be tele- 
graphed to New York at noon tomorrow July 30th Indian Standard Time. 

1. V.K. Krishna Menon Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. At a meeting with Krishna Menon on 28 July 1947, Ernest Bevin reiterated 
the earlier stand of the British Government and said that they had decided 
to stop supplies to the Netherlands and discontinue all contracts and agree- 
ments with them. He requested the Indian Government to postpone reference 
to the Security Council for at least twenty-four hours while Britain made a 
final appeal to the Dutch. He declined to condemn the gains made by the 
Dutch in Indonesia during the action as it involved juridical issues of Dutch 
sovereignty. 


377 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAIIARLAL NEHRU 


13. Cable to President of Security Council 1 

29th July, 1947 

I have the honour on behalf of the Government of India to draw atten- 
tion of the Security Council under Article 35(1) of United Nations Char- 
ter to the situation in Indonesia. 

During the last few days Dutch forces have embarked without warn- 
ing on large-scale military action against Indonesian people. Attacks 
began without warning at time when a delegation from Indonesian Re- 
publican Government was actually in Batavia for negotiations with 
Dutch authorities on implementation of Linggadjati Agreement. In opin- 
ion of Government of India this situation endangers maintenance of in- 
ternational peace and security which is covered by Article 34 of Charter. 
Government of India therefore request Security Council to take neces- 
sary measures provided by Charter to put an end to present situation. 

The Government of India earnestly hope that in view of its urgency 
the Council will consider this matter as soon as possible. 2 

Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. National Herald, 1 August 1947. 

2. The Security Council adopted a resolution on 1 August 1947 calling on both 
sides to cease hostilities immediately. 


14, Cable to V.K. Krishna Menon 1 

New Delhi 
30 July 1947 

My telegram 6008. Please arrange to leave for New York as soon as 
possible. 

We are instructing Indian delegation New York to inform Secretary 
General that you will present our case. 

2. Please telegraph repeating to Indiadel New York date and time you 
expect to arrive there. 

1. V.K. Krishna Menon Papers, N.M.M.L. 


378 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


15. Cable to V.K. Krishna Menon 1 

New Delhi 
31 July 1947 

Dr. Shahrir is proceeding to New York at earliest opportunity to assist 
you in presenting case to Security Council. 


1. Ministry of External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, File No. 114- 
FEA/47, Vol. I. Sr. No. 96/corr., National Archives of India. 

16. Cable to V.K. Krishna Menon 1 

New Delhi 
31 July 1947 

Your telegram 1620 dated 30th July. 2 Paragraph No. 1. Paragraphs 3, 3 
4 4 * * and 9. r> As you will have observed from our communication to Chair- 
man, Security Council, wc have referred the case under Article 34 and 
...‘of the Charter, that is under Chapter VI. Not being member of 
Council, it was not possible for us to take any action under Chapter VII. 
However since we have requested the Security Council to take the neces- 
sary measures provided by Charter to put an end to present situation, the 
Council is competent to lake action under Chapter VII, if it so decides. 
Our approach to Council, therefore, conforms to views of His Majesty’s 
Government; at the same time it docs not preclude action by Council 
under Chapter VII. As regards paragraph No. 14 7 of your telegram, we 


3. 


4. 


1. V.K. Krishna Menon Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. tn this cable Krishna Menon reproduced, in paragraphs 2-4. H.M.G.'s reply 

to Nehru’s cable of 29 July. 

Paragraph 3 read: “H.M.G. however expresses the opinion that there is a 
stronger case for bringing up this matter under chapter six... rather than 
under chapter seven... we (H.M.G.) also happen to know the view of the 
U.S. Government that they consider it is the more appropriate course to 
bring up this matter under chapter six... rather than seven...” 

Paragraph 4 read: “We (H.M.G.) shall not make it difficult and our atti- 
tude in Security Council w'ould be that we shall not take any action which 
would prevent a recommendation put forward being heard and considered. 
Paragraph 9 read: “The opinion expressed by H.M.G. in Paragraph 3 may be 
considered on its own merits. It may be possible to make our application in 
such a way as to avail ourselves of both chapters but it would be an error 
of tactics to exclude the capacity to invoke chapter six... This is a matter 
for your expert advisers." 

Omission in the source. . T A 

Paragraph 14 read: “...In the assembly vaster volume of sympathy for Indo- 
nesia would be aroused and we would probably carry it before the end of the 
session while at Security Council it may well be prolonged especially if the 
Americans wish to do so.” 


379 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


are definitely of the opinion that an immediate appeal to world opinion, 
even on a narrower platform, is preferable to an appeal to the broader 
forum of United Nations Assembly which will not meet for another six 
weeks. World opinion will be extremely critical of such delay and tacti- 
cally it is important to strike while communication iron, is hot. It will of 
course be our endeavour, through our representative, to impress upon 
the Council the need for urgent action and avoidance of procedural 
details. 

Paragraph 2. Paragraph No. II. 8 I have already held a press conference 
here at which our attitude was fully explained. At this stage I do not 
consider any further statements to press to be necessary. Paragraph 12.° 
It is for British people to organise aid to Indonesia in United Kingdom. 
If Indian community in London contemplate any such action, there 
could be no objection to your cooperating with them. The movement 
should however be purely unofficial. Since you will be proceeding to 
New York immediately you will hardly have the time to take part in 
any such move. Paragraph 13. 10 We shall of course keep in touch with 
His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom Paragraph 15. 11 Egypt 
is not member of Security Council any longer. Syria has taken her 
place . vz It is unlikely that Syrian Minister in London will be able to do 
much. After you, reach New York, you may informally contact the 
Syrian representative on the Security Council. 1 ’* 

Paragraph 3. We have been in close touch with the Australian High 
Commissioner for some time. As you must have learnt, Australia has taken 

8. Paragraph 11 read: “I would like instructions as to whether press interviews 
are to be given here on attitude of our Government and steps we are taking 
including our repeated efforts to obtain British participation in mediation and 
under what auspices such a conference if desired is to be called and who 
should speak to the press representatives.” 

9. Paragraph 12 read: “I would like instructions as to whether I am to parti- 
cipate in promote or inspire any endeavours here by way of aid to Indonesia 
moral or material and/ whether such is to be by way ...” 

10. Paragraph 13 read: “It is my submission that irrespective of the disappoint- 
ing response from H.M.G. communications and representations should con- 
tinue to be made by way of conveying information in the interests of Indo- 
nesians and of making proposals and demands. 

11. Paragraph 15 read: “Please instruct whether you wish me to see ministers 
of Egypt and Syria who are here as these countries have seats on Security 
Council. You would no doubt be discussing the matter with Australian High 
Commissioner in New Delhi.” 

12. Syria was elected to the Security Council in place of Egypt on 19 Novem- 
ber 1946. Egypt’s term expired on 31 December 1946. 

13. Faris-al-Khoury. 


380 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


action under Chapter seven 14 of the Charter. 

Paragraph 4. In conformity with our declared policy of nonalignment 
with either Western or Eastern Bloc I consider it especially important 
that as our spokesman in the Indonesian case you should avoid all ap- 
pearance of leaning more for support to one side than to the other. 

Paragraph 5. I would suggest that you should try to make your telegrams 
shorter to save time in transmission and in decyphering. 

14. On 30 July 1947, the Australian Government brought the Indonesian situa- 
tion to the attention of the Security Council under Article 39 of the U.N. 
Charter. 


17. Cable to Asaf Ali 1 


3-8-47 

Doctor Shahrir starting tomorrow from Bombay by T.W.A. arriving New 
York sixth August. Please inform his Indonesian friends. Shall be grateful 
if you will give him every help. 

1. Ministry of External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, File No. 114-FEA/ 
47, Vol. 1, Sir No. 113/corr., National Archives of India. 


18. Cable to Shahrir 1 

New Delhi 
9 August 1947 

Indonesian issue was again discussed by Security Council on 8th and, 
possibly, also on the 9th. Since subject is still on Council agenda, it can 
come up for consideration again any day. I would therefore suggest that 
you should proceed to New York as soon as possible. 

1. Ministry of External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, File No. 114- 
FEA/47, Vol. I, Sr. No. 129/corr., National Archives of India. 


381 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


19. Cable to V.K. Krishna Menon 1 

New Delhi 
11 August 1947 

More than a week has elapsed since Security Council called upon the 
Dutch and Indonesians to cease fire and settle their dispute by resort to 
kindly arbitration or other peaceful means. 

Fighting, the magnitude of which it is impossible to assess in the 
absence of independent information, still continues. 

Whether any Dutch and Indonesians have accepted American offer of 
mediation there is no indication whether disputants are to get together 
and if so when and on what basis. Our object which was immediate 
restoration of peace in Indonesia remains unfulfilled. 

Articles in British press describing Indonesians as rebels and Dutch 
military action as legitimate for quelling rebellion 2 can hardly induce 
Netherlands Government to consider mediation seriously: in any case 
such publicity is having most unfortunate effect on public opinion here. 

During discussion of Indonesian issue by Security Council on 7th our 
spokesman made two proposals (A) that Dutch forces should be with- 
drawn from positions held by them before commencement of hostilities. 
This suggestion had also been made by him in course of first hearing by 
Council of Indonesians (B) that an international arbitration commission 
should be set up by Security Council to settle the dispute. These sugges- 
tions will be pressed at next meeting of Security Council probably to- 
morrow. But outcome of our effort is uncertain. 

It is clear that continuation of present situation is pregnant with same 
dangers which led us to take matter to Security Council. 

Could you throw some light on attitude and intentions of H.M.G. or 
ascertain what Americans arc doing to make mediation effective. If re- 
solution of Security Council is not implemented within next few days the 
next step will be to ask for application of sanctions. 

We would be grateful for very early reply. 


1. V.K. Krishna Menon Papers, N.M.M.L. 

In an editorial on 5 August 1947, the London Times accused the Jogjakarta 
regime of being “inefficient” and of ruling harshly. It called for a United 
Nations inquiry into the Republican Government’s claim to represent the 
nationalist aspirations of Indonesia but thought that, since the Republican 
Government had formally acknowledged the sovereignty of the crown, the 
dispute was a domestic matter excluded from the purview of the Security 
Council. 


382 


10 

INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 
III. Ollier Countries 



INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


1. Telegram to Aung San 1 

New Delhi 
7 June 1947 

I send you and through you to the Constituent Assembly for Burma my 
greetings on the auspic,ous occasion of the meeting of that Assembly. 2 
May it bring to Burma independence and a democratic people’s constitu- 
tion. I look forward to the closest friendship between an independent 
India and an independent Burma for their mutual advantage and for the 
good of Asia and humanity at large. 

Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. The Burmese Constituent Assembly met on 10 June 1947 and it was in- 
augurated by the Finance Member Thakin Mya. 


2. To B.C. Roy 1 


New Delhi 
20 June 1947 


My dear Bidhan, 

I have your letter of the 12th May or June. 2 The question you have 
raised is a deeper one than can be covered by change of phrasing. 
Undoubtedly a new phrasing would be better than the old. 

2. The real problem is two-fold — one, the fact that there is very 
strong sentiment in India, as you well know, in favour of India being 


1. J.N. Collection. 

2. In his letter, B.C. Roy mentioned that Lord Addison, the Dominion Sccre- 
* tary, suggested change of the expression “Dominion Status”, which “connoted 

inferiority of Status”, to “Association of British Commonwealth & other na- 
tions”, which signified that India was free to associate with the British Com- 
monwealth and was not an integral part of the British Commonwealth. 


385 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


a free and sovereign Republic; the second part of the problem is how 
far we should definitely associate ourselves in the world context today 
with a particular group of nations. 

3. I have no doubt in my mind that the Objectives Resolution of the 
Constituent Assembly should be given effect to; that is, India should 
declare herself a free sovereign Republic. I myself feel that this must 
be done, but it is not a matter of how I feel but of what the country 
w'ants. Granting this, what can be our relations with the British Com- 
monwealth? I am prepared to go far, for a number of reasons, to 
develop close relations of an independent India with the Commonwealth. 
There are many advantages in this both to us and the other parties 
concerned. How this can be done is not quite clear to me. 

4. Of course, the Irish Republic is in a sense a member of the Com- 
monwealth. To what extent, it is a little doubtful. As you yourself 
point out, the conception of the British Commonwealth is a developing 
one and* presently the word “Dominion Status” may be changed. 
Ultimately it is a question of some kind of common citizenship or 
rather a dual citizenship. This matter can be investigated. 

5. Legal approaches and suitable phraseology are important. But funda- 
mentally the question is a different one and more psychological than 
political. You know the feeling in the country, and the recent declara- 
tion that we shall have Dominion Status for the interim period has 
rather upset many of our people. Any idea that it might extend beyond 
the interim period would create a furore. 

6. For my part I am convinced that we must be completely indepen- 
dent in law and in fact in order once for all to get rid of all conscious 
and subconscious ideas about British domination and intervention in 
India. Very much depends on the British Government’s attitude towards 
Pakistan and the Indian States. If this attitude is at all shady or tends 
to encourage disruptive tendencies, our reactions will be strong. 

7. Thus the questions you have put to me hardly arise at present 
except in a few people’s minds. We are all at present rather hurt by 
this partition business and other developments, even though we have 
agreed to them. This is not the time to raise any other controversial 
issue. 

Yours affectionately, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

P.S. I do not know if you will get this in time before you leave England. 


386 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


3. To J.C. Smuts 1 

New Delhi 
24 June 1947 

Dear Field Marshal Smuts, 

I thank you for your letter of June 18 in reply to mine of May 6. 

In my last letter I requested the Union Government to accept the 
implementation of the resolution passed by the United Nations General 
Assembly on December 8, 1946 2 as the common and immediate purpose 
in which our respective Governments can cooperate for finding a basis 
for the solution of the problems with which our two Governments are 
concerned and added that as soon as the Union Government had acced- 
ed to this request a common basis for future discussions would be 
established. You would allow me to point out that although in your 
present letter the Union Government have insisted on the return of our 
High Commissioner 3 we have so far had no indication that they agree to 
proceed on the basis of the United Nations resolution. It still is our 
view that in the absence of an agreed basis for discussion the High 
Commissioner would not be able to achieve much. What is required is 
to agree first on the basis of discussion, and after that the channel of 
discussion can be settled without much difficulty. 

The Government of India are firmly of the opinion that further dis- 
cussions between our Governments, which they would warmly welcome, 
can only be on the basis of the United Nations resolution. They also 
feel that the issues involved are so highly important that these discus- 
sions could be brought to a satisfactory conclusion more expeditiously 
through a conference of fully accredited representatives of both Govern- 
ments than through the High Commissioner. Nevertheless, should the 
Union Government accept the United Nations resolution as the basis of 
discussions the Government of India would, in deference to the wishes 
of the Union Government and as a mark of their earnest desire to 


1. Printed in National Herald, 21 August 1947. 

2. See Selected Works (Second Series), Vol. 1, p. 468. 

3. Smuts had in his letter of 18 June 1947 requested Nehru for the return of 
the Indian ambassador to South Africa; this was also being pressed by Indians 
there. He wrote that the Government was having negotiations over the griev- 
ances of Indians and many had been resolved. The severing of trade relations 
and unilateral trade sanctions werei injuring South African interests. However, 
the Union Government had refrained from taking retaliatory action and he had 
publicly favoured the rise of India to her full status of freedom and sovereignty. 


387 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


reach a friendly settlement, be prepared to send their High Commis- 
sioner to South Africa to initiate these discussions. They regret, how- 
ever, that their last High Commissioner, Mr. Deshmukh, will not be 
available for this purpose. 

There are other matters referred to in your letter on which I should 
like to put forward our point of view but would reserve this for a later 
occasion. My primary anxiety, like yours, is to see whether the present 
deadlock cannot be quickly and amicably resolved. 

Before I conclude this letter I wish to express my appreciation of 
your friendly references to India’s attainment of freedom. 4 The new 
India desires nothing more ardently than to work in a spirit of coopera- 
tion for the peace and prosperity of the world with all like-minded 
nations. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

4. In the same letter Smuts wrote to Nehru, “I have publicly welcomed this 
splendid achievement of Indian and British statesmanship and whole-heartedly 
given it such blessing on behalf of South Africa as I can.” 


4. To Sudhir Ghosh 1 2 


New Delhi 
25th June 1947 


My dear Sudhir, 

I have your letter of the 18th June.- I entirely agree with you that every 
opportunity should be seized for a proper presentation of India’s case. 
This is certainly desirable in regard to the sterling balances question. 
I have consulted other people here, including Sir Chintaman Deshmukh 
of the Reserve Bank, and they all like the idea. Lokanathan 3 is certainly 
a suitable person to put India’s case. 

1. Sudhir Ghosh Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. In this letter. Ghosh said that the question of India’s sterling balances was 
being discussed in Britain by various interested parties and much confusion 
was being caused by the British press. Brailsford, Leonard Elmhirst, Listowel 
and others had asked him to provide an Indian of outstanding ability who 
would be prepared to expound the Indian case at a publid discussion. 

3. P.S. Lokanathan (1894-1972); Editor, Eastern Economist , 1943-47; Executive 
Secretary, E.C.A.F.E., Bangkok, 1947-56, 


388 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


I have telegraphed to you today to this effect and we are informing 
Lokanathan also. You can fix up a suitable date with him. 

In your letter you mention that Robertson 4 and Crowther 5 will present 
the British case. Is it not necessary for Lokanathan to have some asso- 
ciate with him? I do not know of a suitable Indian in England who 
might do this. As I have mentioned in my telegram to you, G.D.H. 
Cole 0 and A.C. Gilpin 7 might perhaps help in this matter. 

I do not know when the B.B.C. intend to have this debate and when 
the other functions you mention will take place. It does not really much 
matter what date is fixed, though it might be preferable to have it just 
at the time when this question is likely to be discussed; but if this dis- 
cussion is delayed then these public debates can take place at any time. 
Even so, it would be desirable to present India’s case again later. 

I rather like the issue of Indian News that you have sent me. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

4. Dennis Holme Robertson (1890-1963); a distinguished economist. 

5. Geoffrey Crowther (1907-1972); Editor of The Economist, 1938-56. 

6. George Douglas Howard Cole (1889-1959); Fellow of Magdalen College, 
Oxford, 1912-19; Fellow of University College, Oxford, and University Reader 
in Economics, 1925-44; Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory and 
Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, 1944-57; President of the Fabian Society 
since 1952; regular contributor to the New Statesman and Nation. 

7. Author of India’s Sterling Balances (London, 1946). 


5. To Mrs. Paul Robeson 1 

New Delhi 
26 June 1947 

My dear Essie, 

It was a great pleasure to have your letter of April 5th. Thank you 
also for the newspaper clippings you sent me. 2 

Somehow life is so complicated that it is difficult to keep in touch 
with one’s friends. But I often think of you and Paul and I wonder 
when both of you will come to India as promised long ago. I fear you 
will find India rather slow with your extreme vitality. But with all our 
slowness we are also on the move and perhaps the tempo might increase. 

1. J.N. Collection. 

2. Mrs. Paul Robeson sent to Nehru press clippings dealing with India, so as to 
give him some idea as to how the American press treated the Indian situation. 


389 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


The Asian Conference here was a very great success . 3 Unfortunately 
most of us in our respective countries have got so tied up with our own 
problems that we have not been able to follow it up as we should have 
done. By the time the next session is held in China much will have 
happened . 4 Surely you are not going to delay your visit to the East till 
then. 

There is not the least chance in the world for me to go to America 
on a lecture tour . 5 It is possible that I might pay a short visit though 
not soon. But the very idea of a lecture tour terrifies me. I just don’t 
want to be ordered and dragged about to lecture. 

My sister, Nan, is going to Moscow next month as our Ambassador. 
It is a tough job, but that is just why I have chosen her for it. There is 
just a possibility of her going to the U.N. General Assembly meeting in 
September/October. 

I shall look forward to your new book Congo Journey .° 

With all good wishes to you, Paul and Pauli. 

Yours as ever, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

3. See Selected Works (Second Series), Vol. 2, pp. 501-523. 

4. Mrs. Paul Robeson expressed her desire to attend the second Asian Relations 
Conference to be held in China after two years as she could not attend the 
first Asian Relations Conference held in Delhi. 

5. She wrote that there were rumours from time to time that Nehru would be 
going to the United States to lecture. “That would certainly be sensational,” 
she added. 

6. At this time she was writing a book on Africa entitled Congo Journey, which 
she hoped to finish “by the end of summer”. 


6. Free India Desires Closer Ties with the United States 1 * 


It gives me great pleasure to convey to you and through you to your 
Government the greetings of the Government and the people of India 
on the occasion of the American Independence Day. The celebrations this 
year are of particular significance to the people of my country who will 
soon be celebrating their own independence. With the dawn of freedom 

1. Message to Henry Francis Grady, American ambassador in New Delhi, on 

the occasion of the celebration of the American Independence Day on 4 

July. Printed in The Hindustan Times, 4 July 1947. 


390 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


India hopes that the ties of the two countries will be closer than ever 
before so that together and in full cooperation with other members of 
the United Nations they can strive for the lasting peace, security and 
happiness of humanity. 


7. To Terence Shone 1 


New Delhi 
8th July 1947 


My dear Sir Terence, 

I received your letter of the 27th June and immediately referred the 
matter to Mr. Rajagopalachari. Enquiries were made and I understand 
that Mr. Rajagopalachari is writing to you on this subject. 

I have not got exact figures yet, but I understand that we might be 
able to meet H.M.G.’s wishes to a large extent in the matter of Decau- 
ville Track. 2 I need hardly say that we are anxious to help in this busi- 
ness, not only because of our desire to assist, in so far as we can, for 
the reconstruction of the blitzed houses in England, but also because 
we would greatly welcome satisfactory trade agreements between the 
United Kingdom and the Soviet Union. In the present state of political 
tension in the world such agreements will no doubt have a salutary 
effect. 

I trust you will convey to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 
our assurances that we shall do our utmost to help in this matter. 3 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. Ministry of External Affairs, File No. 7-94/47-OS V p. 6/corr., National 
Archives of India. 

2. Narrow gauge railway track. 

3. In his letter of 6 August, Terence Shone thanked Nehru and Rajagopalachari 
for their “very helpful attitude over the question of making available to His 
Majesty’s Government surplus Decauville track in connection with the nego- 
tiations which were then being carried on in Moscow between His Majesty’s 
Government and the Soviet Union for a mutual trade agreement”. 


391 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

8. Henry Grady's Record of Interview with Nehru 1 


A-146. Section / Reference my tel No. 500, July 7, re Nehru’s ex- 
pression of opinion that Afghanistan’s agitation re N.W.F.P. probably 
represented effort to divert attention from domestic difficulties; and his 
criticism of India Bill — particularly with regard to provisions affecting 
position of States. 

In course of same conversation Nehru made following additional 
points: 

1. India’s foreign policy based on desire avoid involvement with any 
particular bloc, to refrain from meddling, and to avoid war. India de- 
sired friendly relations with U.S. 

While there was some fear in India of U.S. economic penetration, 
India would want U.S. exports — particularly capital goods. In fact U.S. 
was only country from which quantities needed could be obtained. Need 
to conserve dollars to import food necessitated cutting down imports of 
consumer goods. India would probably apply to International Bank for 
loan- 

2. While U.S.S.R. had in past held considerable attraction for Indians 
internal troubles of India now such interest in U.S.S.R. had declined- 
Present interest more in Asiatic Russia than in European since conditions 
in former furnished Indians better clue to progress. International ideologi- 
cal conflicts currently less important to Indians than domestic problems. 

3. Indian economy would probably tend to follow trend of British 
economy under socialist government. Certain large industries would pro- 
bably be nationalized; large proportion of business and industrial activity 
w r ould remain in private hands. 

Section II While in recent weeks Nehru has shown strain imposed by 
official duties and remarkably large number of receptions, etc., he seem- 
ed on this occasion unusually calm and rational, and did not talk, as on 
some occasions, in somewhat superficial or detached manner. 


I. Grady’s cable to the Secretary of State, New Delhi, 9 July 1947. Foreign Rela- 
tion of the United States 1947 , Vol. Ill, pp. 160/61. 


392 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


Re Afghanistan, mentioned in connection with Hare’s- itinerary, Nehru 
did not elaborate, but remarks reflected his support of policy indicated 
my tels No. 465, July 1 and No. 505, July 9 — namely to make it clear 
to Afghans G.O.I. strongly opposed to separation of N.W.F.P., whether 
from Hindustan or Pakistan. 

References to U.S.S.R. seemed indicate a wary attitude — no whole- 
hearted admiration. Remarks re U.S. seemed genuinely friendly. 

2. Raymond Arthur Hare (b. 1901); American diplomat; Chief, Division of 
Middle East, Indian and South Asian Affairs, 1947; Deputy Director, Office 
of Near East and African Affairs, 1948; ambassador to several countries from 
1950-65; Assistant Secretary of State (Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs), 
1965-66; President, Middle East Institute, 1966-69, its National Chairman, 
1969-76, and Chairman, Emeritus, since 1976. 


9. To Albert Einstein 1 

New Delhi 
11 July 1947 

My dear Professor Einstein, 

I received your letter of June 13th 1947 some little time back and I 
read it with the care and attention which it deserved. It is a privilege 
and an honour to be addressed by you and I was happy to receive your 
letter, though the subject of your letter is a sad one. 

I appreciate very much what you say about the recent decision of 
India’s Constituent Assembly to abolish untouchability. 2 This indeed 
has been our policy for many years past and it is a matter of deep satis- 
faction to us that what we have been trying to do in many ways will 
soon have the sanction of law, as embodied in the constitution, behind 
it. You say very rightly that the degradation of any group of human 
beings is a degradation of the civilisation that has produced it. Ever 
since Mahatma Gandhi began to play a role in Indian politics and 
social affairs, he has laid the greatest stress on the complete liquidation 
of untouchability and all that goes with it. He made it part of our 
freedom struggle and emphasised that it was folly to talk of political 
freedom when social freedom was denied or restricted for a large num- 
ber of persons. 

1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. The Constituent Assembly of India declared unlawful the practice of untou- 
chability on 29 April 1947. 


393 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAIIARLAL NEHRU 

You know that in India there has been the deepest sympathy for the 
great sufferings of the Jewish people. We have rejected completely the 
racial doctrine which the Nazis and the fascists proclaimed. Unfor- 
tunately, however, that doctrine is still believed in and acted upon by 
other people. You are no doubt aware of the treatment accorded by the 
Union of South Africa to Indians there on racial grounds. We made 
this an issue in the United Nations General Assembly last year and 
achieved a measure of success there. In raising this question before the 
United Nations we did not emphasise the limited aspect of it, but stood 
on the broader plane of human rights for all in accordance with the 
Charter of the United Nations. 

What has happened in recent years, more especially since the rise to 
power of Hitler in Germany, was followed by us with deep pain and 
anxiety. You arc quite right in thinking that India has mourned the 
horrors which resulted in the death of millions of Jews in the murder 
machines which were set up in Germany and elsewhere. That was terrible 
enough, but it was still more terrible to contemplate a civilisation which, 
in spite of its proud achievements, could produce this horror. 

I, need not assure you, therefore, of our deepest sympathy for the Jews 
and for all they have undergone during these past years. If we can help 
them in any way I hope and trust that India will not merely stand by 
and look on. As you know, national policies are unfortunately essentially 
selfish policies. Each country thinks of its own interest first and then of 
other interests. If it so happens that some international policy fits in 
with the national policy of the country, then that nation uses brave 
language about international betterment. But as soon as that international 
policy seems to run counter to national interests or selfishness, then a 
host of reasons are found not to follow that international policy. 

We in India, engrossed as wo have been in our struggle for freedom 
and in our domestic difficulties, have been unable to play any effective 
part in world affairs. The coming months, and possibly years, will not 
free us from these grave problems of our own country; but I have no 
doubt that we shall play a progressively more important part in inter- 
national affairs. What that part will be in future I can only guess. I 
earnestly hope that we shall continue to adhere to the idealism which 
has guided our struggle for freedom. But we have seen often enough 
idealism followed by something far less noble, and so it would be folly 
for me to prophesy what the future holds for us. All we can do is to 
try our utmost to keep up standards of moral conduct both in our 
domestic affairs and in the international sphere. 

The problem of Palestine, you will no doubt agree with me, is extra- 
ordinarily difficult and intricate. Where rights come into conflict it is 


394 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


not an easy matter to decide. With all our sympathy for the Jews we 
must and do feel that the rights and future of the Arabs are involved 
in this question. You have yourself framed the question: “Can Jewish 
need, no matter how acute, be met without the infringement of the vital 
rights of others?” Your answer to this question is in the affirmative. 
Broadly put, many may agree with you in that answer, but when we 
come to the specific application of this answer, the matter is not at all 
simple. 

But, legalities apart and even apart from the many other issues in- 
volved, we have to face a certain existing situation. I do not myself see 
how this problem can be resolved by violence and conflict on one 
side or the other. Even if such violence and conflict achieve certain 
ends for the moment, they must necessarily be temporary. I do earnestly 
hope that some kind of an agreement might be arrived at between the 
Arabs and the Jews. I do not think even an outside power can impose 
its will for long or enforce some new arrangement against the will of 
the parties concerned. 

I confess that while I have a very great deal of sympathy for the 
Jews 1 feel sympathy for the Arabs also in their predicament. In any 
event, the whole issue has become one of high emotion and deep pas- 
sion on both sides. Unless men are big enough on either side to find 
a solution which is just and generally agreeable to the parties concerned, 
I see no effective solution for the present. 

I have paid a good deal of attention to this problem of Palestine and 
have read books and pamphlets on the subject issued on either side; yet 
I cannot say that I know all about it, or that I am competent to pass a 
final opinion as to what should be done. I know that the Jews have done 
a wonderful piece of work in Palestine and have raised the standards 
of the people there, but one question troubles me. After all these remark- 
able achievements, why have they failed to gain the goodwill of the 
Arabs? Why do they want to compel the Arabs to submit against their 
will to certain demands? The way of approach has been one which does 
not lead to a settlement, but rather to the continuation of the conflict. 
I have no doubt that the fault is not confined to one party but that all 
have erred. I think also that the chief difficulty has been the continua- 
tion of British rule in Palestine. We know', to our cost, that when a 
third party dominates, it is exceedingly difficult for the others to settle 
their differences, even when that third party has good intentions, — and 
third parties seldom, have such intentions! 

It is difficult for me to argue this question with you who knows so 
much more than I do. I have only indicated to you some of my own 
difficulties in the matter. But whatever those difficulties mi<ffit be, I w'ould 

o 7 


395 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


assure you, with all earnestness, that I would like to do all in my power 
to help the Jewish people in their distress, in so far as I can do so, 
without injuring other people. 

The world is in a sorry mess and the appetite for war and destruc- 
tion has not been satisfied yet. Here in India we stand on the verge of 
independence for which we have struggled for so long, and yet there is 
no joy in this country at this turning point in our history and there will 
be no celebrations of this historic event next month, for we are full of 
sorrow for what has happened in our country during the past year and 
for the cutting away of a part from the parent country. This was not 
how we had envisaged our freedom. What is most distressing is the 
background of all these events, the bitterness, the hatred and viol- 
ence that have disfigured the face of India in recent months. We have 
a terribly hard task before us, but we shall face it, of course, with the 
confidence that wc shall overcome these difficulties, as we have over- 
come others in the past. 

I have shared your letter with Mahatma Gandhi and some other 
friends. 

With regards. 

Yours very sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


10. To C R. Attlee 1 

New Delhi 
11th July 1947 

My dear Prime Minister, 

V.K. Krishna Menon is returning to England and I am asking him to 
carry this note with him and to convey my greetings to you. He has been 
in intimate touch with us during the past few weeks here and I think he 
might prove helpful in explaining the situation here. 

In view of the impending changes the post of High Commissioner 
for India in London has an added significance. We attach considerable 
importance to it as we do to the future relations of India with the U.K. 
We have therefore give.n a great deal of thought to the choice of a suit- 
able person for this post. In consultation with the Viceroy and my collea- 
gues we have decided to appoint Krishna Menon to this post. I feel sure 
that with his knowledge of both India and England and the intimate con- 
tacts he has in both countries, he will be of great help to us in the new 

1. The Transfer of Power 1942-7 , Vol. 12, pp. 110-111. 


396 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


conditions that we shall have to face. I trust that he will receive all pos- 
sible help from your Government. 

We do not propose to make any announcement about Krishna Menon’s 
appointment till early in August. This is just for your personal infor- 
mation. 

We are going to have plenty of difficulties in the future, but I earnest- 
ly trust that this future will see a growing friendship between India and 
England. 


Yours very sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


11. Quatorze Juillet 1 


I have great pleasure in conveying to you and through you to your 
Government the greetings of the Government and the people of India 
on, this day of your national rejoicing. As India approaches her freedom 
and independence, July 14 gains a new meaning for her people. Both 
France and India are symbols of human values and I have every hope 
that in the years to come there will be the closest friendship and co- 
operation between them. 

1. Message to the French charge d’affaires, New Delhi, 13 July 1947, to mark 
the celebration of the French Independence Day. Notional Herald, 14 July 1947. 


12. Cable to Emmanuel Cellar 1 


Our instructions to Sir Abdur Rahman emphasise the quasi-judicial 
character of the inquiry and lay special stress on complete impartiality. 
I am communicating a copy of your telegram 2 to ham. Best wishes. 

1. 18 July 1947. The Hindu, 20 July 1947. 

Emmanuel Cellar (1888-1981); American politician and Democrat; member, 
U.S. House of Representatives, since 1923; Chairman, Judiciary Committee. 

2. Cellar’s cable said that Abdur Rahman had shown “his prejudice and hostility 
almost to the point of insult to the Jewish point of view.’’ 


397 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


13. Death of Aung San 1 


I have learnt with deep grief of the terrible tragedy that took place this 
morning in Rangoon when a number of gangsters pushed their way 
into a room w'here the Executive Council was meeting and shot down 
General Aung San and a number of other Members of the Council. 
This cold-blooded murder of Burmese popular leaders at a time when 
they were on the eve of their independence is tragic beyond words. I 
mourn for Aung San, friend and comrade, who even in his youth had 
become the architect of Burmese freedom and the acknowledged leader 
of her people. I mourn also for his comrades who are dead. I mourn 
for Burma bereft at this critical moment of her chosen leaders, and I 
mourn for Asia who has lost one of her bravest and most far-seeing 
sons. 

This tragedy is a reminder to us of the horrors and disasters that vio- 
lence and indiscipline bring in their train. They are the enemies of free- 
dom and their offspring are chaos and misery. We in India have passed 
through terrible days full of violence and atrocity. Let each one of us 
search his heart and reflect on where this leads to. India and Burma 
and Asia indulge in violence at the peril of their freedom. All our fair 
dreams will vanish if we cannot pull ourselves up and think straight and 
act straight at this critical moment in our history. Above all we have 
to put an end to all indiscipline and act together and in an organised 
way to face all anti-social elements and put an end to their activities. 
This is no time for legal quibbling or for personal rivalry. The present 
faces us both with its tragedy and difficulty and its hope for the future. 
It is in this present that we must act if we are to have any future worth 
living for. 

To the people of Burma I offer sincerest sympathy on my behalf and 
on behalf of the people of India. India will stand by them in the diffi- 
cult days ahead. 


1. Statement to the press. New Delhi, 19 July 1947. The Hindustan Times , 20 
July 1947. 


398 


INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


14. Cable to Thakin Nu 1 

New Delhi 
20th July 1947 

On behalf of Government of India and myself I convey to you, to your 
Government and to the Burmese people our deep grief at the tragedy 
which took place yesterday. We share this great sorrow with you at the 
assassination of General Aung San, the brave and wise leader of Bur- 
ma, and the other leaders at a critical moment in your history. We share 
with you also the determination to face all difficulties with courage. We 
shall gladly offer you such help as we can at this moment of crisis. 

1. Department of External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, File No. 30-43/ 
OS II, p. 5/corr., National Archives of India. 


15. On the Assassination of Aung San 1 


Please accept our deepest sympathy in your great sorrow and the sor- 
row of the Burmese nation, which we all share. I have lost a friend and 
a comrade and Burma and Asia have lost one to whom everyone look- 
ed with hope for the future* 

1. Message of condolence to Mrs. Aung San, New Delhi, 20 July 1947. Depart- 
ment of External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, File No. 30-43 /OS 
II, p. 5/corr., National Archives of India. 


16. To Ahmad Qavam 1 

New Delhi 
2 August 1947 

Your Highness, 2 

My sister, Mrs. V.L. Pandit, who is proceeding to Moscow as our 

1. External Affairs Department File No. 18(4)-IA/47, Sr. No. 4, National 
Archives of India. 

2. Ahmad Qavam was several times Prime Minister of Iran and was overthrown 
by Dr. Mossadeq in 1952. He died on 23 July 1955 at the age of 80. 


399 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

Ambassador to the U.S.S.R., will make a brief halt in Teheran. I under- 
stand from your Consul General, Mr. Motamedy, that, during her stay in 
your Capital, she will be the guest of the Iranian Government. I wish to 
thank you for the hospitality of your Government and also to take this 
opportunity to convey to you the greetings and good wishes of the Gov- 
ernment and the people of India. 

During the Asian Relations Conference which was held in Delhi last 
March, it gave me great pleasure to meet the members of the Iranian 
delegation. For centuries, Iran and India have been friends and have 
influenced each other’s culture. It is the wish of my Government that the 
amicable relations which now exist between our two countries should be 
maintained and promoted. For this purpose, we should very much like 
that India and Iran should exchange Ambassadors. I shall be happy to 
receive, in due course, an expression of the views of your Highness’ Gov- 
ernment on this subject. 

I am, with assurances of the highest consideration, 

Yours very sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


17. To J.C. Smuts 1 

7 August 1947 

Dear Field Marshal Smuts, 

I have received your telegram of July 28. You regard my request to 
accept the implementation of the resolution passed by the United Nations 
General Assembly on December 8 as a request that the Union Govern- 
ment must admit that they havd broken the agreement between the two 
Governments and violated the principles of the Charter. You add that your 
Government are not even sure what agreements and principles are re- 
ferred to. 2 I should have thought that the prolonged debates in the ap- 

1. National Herald, 21 August 1947. 

2. In his cable of 28 July Smuts had written: “They (the Union Government) 
have broken no agreements and violated no principles of the Charter. They 
are not even sure what agreements and principles are referred to as their 
request for an advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice on the 
matter has been refused.” 


400 



SIGNING AN AIR AGREEMENT BETWEEN INDIA AND FRANCE, 16 JULY 1947 




WITH HENRY GRADY, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR, 27 JUNE 1947 



INDIA IN WORLD AFFAIRS 


propriate committees of the General Assembly last year and the As- 
sembly’s decisions had made the purport of the resolution perfectly clear. 
However, you seem to regard the resolution as uncertain and obscure 
and its adoption by the General Assembly of the United Nations as the 
result of discussion in a ‘highly charged emotional atmosphere ’. 3 I confess 
my inability to see how the return of India’s High Commissioner to the 
Union can help to resolve the matters which, in your opinion, the Assem- 
bly and its committees left obscure and uncertain. I have tried my best to 
end the deadlock between our two Governments, but must observe, with 
regret, that, through no fault of ours, no common basis for negotiations 
between us has been found. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

3. In the same cable Smuts wrote: “In view of the vagueness and generality of 
the charges against the Union and the highly charged emotional atmosphere 
in which they were discussed the Union Government must be specially on 
their guard against complying with your request and accepting the so-called 
implications of the resolution referred to.” 


18. Cable to C.R. Attlee 1 


On behalf of my colleagues in the Government of India and myself I 
wish to express our grateful thanks for your message of greeting 2 on this 
historic day when India emerges into freedom. That freedom means 
much to us, but it also means much to Asia and the world. We hope to 
utilise that freedom for the advancement of our own people as well as 
for the furtherance of the peace and prosperity of the world. In these 
great tasks we shall look forward to the closest cooperation with your 
Government. 

1. 11 August 1947. The Transfer of Power 1942-7 , Vol. 12, p. 724. 

2. Attlee’s message read: “My colleagues in the United Kingdom Government 
join with me in sending on this historic day greetings and good wishes to 
the Government and the people of India. It is our earnest wish that India 
may go forward in tranquillity and prosperity and in so doing contribute to 

th.> peace and prosperity of the world”. Similar messages were received from 
many other heads of state and government and replied to in similar terms. 


401 








11 

INDIANS OVERSEAS 





INDIANS OVERSEAS 


1. Cable to Aung San 1 

16 June 1947 

This morning’s papers published Reuter’s message from Rangoon about 
promulgation of Emergency Immigration Act 2 3 by Burma Government on 
the 14th June. This has come as surprise and disappointment to me. My 
Government had already sent its detailed comments on the original Bill 
and suggested that the Bill should not be enacted in advance of an im- 
migration agreement between India and Burma. Such agreement has always 
been contemplated. I am sorry to see that our suggestions and comments 
on this important matter have not been accepted by your Government. 
I consider present time most inopportune for passing an Immigration Act 
in such a hurried manner* I hope you will look into this matter and find 
it possible to postpone enforcement of legislation until we have had chance 
to enter into discussion with regard to an immigration agreement. 

Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. Ministry of External Affairs, File No. 18-2/47 -OS II, p. 5/corr., National 
Archives of India. 

2. This Act disallowed the entry into Burma of any persons “without either a 
passport fully visaed by or on behalf of the Government of Burma or an 
immi gration permit issued by the controller of immigration”. British subjects 
domiciled in the United Kingdom were exempted from this regulation. 


2. To S. Somasundaram 1 

New Delhi 
7 July 1947 

My dear Somasundaram,- 

I have received your letter addressed to Upadhyaya, together with the 
letter of Mr. Siva Subramaniam." I am passing this to Commonwealth 

1. Ministry of External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, File No. 68-3/47- 
OS V, p. 15/corr., National Archives of India. 

2 S. Somasundaram was a proctor and notary in Colombo. 

3. Siva Subramaniam. a resident of Colombo, wrote on 23 June 1947 that the 
Tamils of Ceylon should join the other Ceylonese in working the new consti- 
tution, contesting the coming general elections on non-communal lines and in 
dissuading communal organisations from sponsoring candidates. He also said 
that the Tamils should seek non-communal backing. 


405 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


Relations Department. 

While it is our duty to protect Indian interests in Ceylon, I am quite 
clear in my mind that we should do nothing of a communal nature, nor 
should we come in the way of the development of Ceylon and her people. 
We should! rally ourselves with their attempts for greater freedom and in- 
dependence. Exactly what we should do is a matter for detailed consi- 
deration. The attitude of the Ceylon Government has not been promising 
at all, but for the moment we are not raising this question because of 
other preoccupations; but, undoubtedly, we shall have to do so. Mean- 
while we must in no way function as a group coming in the way of Cey- 
lon’s advance. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


3. Message from Free India 1 


Today is a fateful moment in history for India, for all Asia, indeed for 
the entire world. After long years of suffering and sacrifice India attains her 
freedom and independence. A new star rises, the star of freedom, in the 
East. A new hope fills the world. 

On this day of liberation the motherland sends her affectionate greet- 
ings to her children abroad. She calls them to her service and to the ser- 
vice of freedom wherever they might be. Every Indian abroad is a repre- 
sentative of India and must ever remember that he has the honour of 
his country in his keeping. That is a proud privilege and responsibility. 
None of India’s children, wherever they be, may submit to anything which 
is against national self-respect or against the cause of freedom- They 
must preserve their own freedom at all costs and respect the freedom of 
others. Jai Hind . 


1. New Delhi, 11 August 1947. Printed in The Hindu, 15 August 1947. 


406 


INDIANS OVERSEAS 


4. Greetings to "Indian Opinion*’ 1 


On the occasion of the establishment of Indian independence we think 
specially of Mahatma Gandhi under whose inspiration we have worked 
for so long. We think also of his early struggles in South Africa fqr main- 
taining the honour and self-respect of our people there. This great move- 
ment which he started in South Africa blossomed and has borne fruit in 
India. So I send my greetings to Indian Opinion founded by Gandhiji and 
through it to our fellow countrymen in South Africa. 


1. Message sent on 12 August 1947. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 


407 




FOREIGN POSSESSIONS IN INDIA 



FOREIGN POSSESSIONS IN INDIA 


1. To O.P. Ramaswami Reddiar 1 


New Delhi 
23rd June 1947 


My dear Mr. Reddiar, 

I have your letter of June 14th. 2 We have received no proposals from the 
French Government about their settlements in India. All that has happen- 
ed is that I have had some talks with the French Ambassador here and 
the French Governor of Pondicherry. Our policy obviously is for the 
union of these parts with the rest of India, though we are quite agreeable 
to French cultural associations to continue. If there are any particular 
facts in your knowledge, we shall be glad to have them. 

As for appointing representatives, there is no proposal at present. 
Normally, representatives are appointed from our Foreign Service which 
is being recruited. Any suggestions that you may have to make will be 
welcome. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. File No. 215-PS/46-PMS. 

2. Reddiar feared that the authorities of the French settlements in India were 
trying to maintain their hold under some pretext or other. He wished to be 
consulted in the matter of negotiations over the settlements as also in the 
appointment of India’s representatives in these areas. 


2. The Future of the French and Portuguese Settlements 1 


Of course we should send a char g 6 to Paris as soon as possible for a 
number of reasons. 2 The fate of French India is, however, ultimately going 

1 Note) 27 June 1947. External Affairs Department File No. 26(26)-X/47, 
pp. 6-7/n, National Archives of India. 

2 GS Bajpai, in his note of 26 June 1947, had drawn Nehru’s attention to a 
conversation between the French Governor of Pondicherry and the British 
Consul General in which the former was of the view that India was likely 
to be further divided after the British departure. Bajpai suggested the need to 
have at least a charge d’affaires in Paris to correct such mischievous trends. 


411 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


to be decided in India or rather by developments in India. M. Baron 
agreed with me that it was inevitable that Pondicherry should and must 
join the Indian Union. There was no other alternative. What he pressed 
for was some cultural privileges for France there. I had no. objection to 
this (if they could be arranged) provided politically French India was 
absorbed into the Indian Union. Col. Fletcher^ need not therefore be 
afraid of Pondicherry becoming the base of a foreign power. 4 

I think it is highly likely that soon after August 1947 the Government 
of India will put forward formal proposals in regard to French and Por- 
tuguese India. These must inevitably mean the absorption of these areas 
into India. At the most they might involve some kind of popular refer- 
endum. Col. Fletcher and Mr. Baig r * might well prepare the ground for this. 
The fact that Pondicherry might get some kind of self-government is not 
likely to make much difference. 

3. Edward Walter Fletcher (1899-1958); joined Indian Political Service 1928; 
Consul General at the French establishments in India, 1945-47. 

4. Reporting on 11 June 1947 on his conversation with Baron, the French 
Governor, Fletcher suspected that France intended to derive benefits other 
than purely cultural ones by seeking to make Pondicherry a centre of French 
culture while keeping it within the French Union, and thought that if Baron’s 
views prevailed French India would presumably obtain local autonomy and the 
status of a dominion within the French Union. 

5. M.R.A. Baig, Indian Consul in Goa. 


3. Agitation in the French Possessions 1 


Mons. Roux, the French Ambassador, came to see me this morning to 
convey an urgent message he had received from Mons. Bidault. 

He told me that the French Government was somewhat exercised about 
developments in Pondicherry and Chandcrnagore, more especially the lat- 
ter place- There was an agitation going on there to do something aggres- 
sive on August 15th. He very much hoped that untoward incidents will 
be avoided, as these will add to the difficulties of the situation. 

1. Note, 8 August 1947. External Affairs Department File No. 26(26)-X/47, 
pp. 13-14, National Archives of India. 


412 


FOREIGN POSSESSIONS IN INDIA 


The French Government were very actively and urgently considering 
the future of the French possessions in India. They had decided to hand 
over almost immediately the French loges to the Government of India 
without any further argument. They had also decided to grant extensive 
financial and administrative powers to the municipalities in the French 
possessions in India. These municipalities would thus have a great deal 
of autonomy in the future. Further the French Government themselves 
were going to have elected members to the Councils in Pondicherry, 
Chandemagore, etc. 

All these were looked upon as a first step. They proposed to take other 
and more far-reaching steps in the near future, but they could not indicate 
their exact nature at the present moment. But they wished to assure us 
that it was their desire that all these matters should be settled amicably 
between the French Government and the Government of India and in 
accordance with the wishes of the people in French India. They felt sure 
that their final decisions would be in accord with the wishes of the people 
in the French possessions and the Government of India. In view, how- 
ever, of parliamentary procedure, they could not declare anything at pre- 
sent. 

For the present, therefore, no publicity could be given to the steps 
they were taking, except to the fact that they were handing over the loges 
free. 

I asked him for something specific in writing about this, so that there 
might be no misunderstanding. He said that he would immediately com- 
municate with his Government to get the precise formula. He was anxi- 
ous that publicity should be given to the question of the loges as early as 
possible, as he hoped that this might have a good effect in India. 

I informed Mons. Roux that the Government of India were themselves 
desirous of settling all these matters relating to the French possessions in 
a friendly way and in accordance with the wishes of the people of the 
French possessions. As regards the agitation in Chandemagore , 2 it is very 
difficult, and indeed hardly possible, for us to do anything in the matter. 
There were all manner of groups in Bengal and we could not control 
them. Indeed, we were having plenty of trouble in some parts of Bengal 
and in the coal and steel areas from various groups. Even the so-called 
Congress group in Chandemagore was in no way organisationally con- 
nected with the Indian National Congress. Although they use the name 
of Congress they were an independent group somewhat in sympathy with 

2. Kama! Prosad Ghosh, the mayor of Chandemagore, declared on 4 August 
that “Chandemagore forms an integral part of Bengal and has every right to 
break its links with imperialist France.” A general strike had been threatened 
and a hartal proclaimed but withdrawn after the release of about 100 persons 
who had been arrested. 


413 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


the ideals of the National Congress, but functioning entirely separately. 
So far as we were concerned, we did not want any untoward happenings 
in Chandernagore or Pondicherry. 

Mons. Roux was specially concerned with the report that it was the 
intention of some people in Chandernagore to haul down the French 
flag. This, he said, would create a bad impression in France. I agreed 
and said that we would not like any disrespect to be shown to the French 
flag. It was not clear to me however what I could do in the matter, ex- 
cept possibly to give private advice to some private individuals, if they 
came to me; I was not in touch with them. 

The position thus is that Mons. Roux will communicate with, his Gov- 
ernment and ask them for a precise formula about the French loges. 
He will communicate this to us and we can give immediate publicity to 
it, preferably before the 15th August. If the French Government are agree- 
able we might also state that the whole future of the French possessions 
is under active consideration of the French Government and they hope 
to settle it in accordance with the wishes of the people concerned- But we 
should only state what the French Government itself is agreeable to, lest 
there should be some misunderstanding in the future. 


414 


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 


















SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 


1. To C.H. Bhabha 1 


New Delhi 
20th June 1947 


My dear Bhabha, 

I understand that Mr. W.L. Voorduin 2 of the Central Technical Power 
Board is leaving India in two or three months on the completion of his 
present contract. I do not know the details of his work, but I gather that 
he is a person with exceptional experience and qualifications and is held 
in considerable esteem in America. Under the new conditions we shall 
have to implement our river development projects with as much vigour 
as possible- Even if we succeed in getting a substitute from abroad he is 
not likely to have the background which Voorduin has now. I suggest 
that it might be a good thing if you could endeavour to persuade Voor- 
duin to stay for a further term. You could perhaps explain that we are 
anxious to make the maximum use of all the technical talent which we 
have> at our disposal and that before long there will be large opportunities 
for large-scale effort in various directions. 

I was telling Khosla the other day that as soon as we settle down to 
new conditions, that is in August next or so, we must proceed with our 
development plans at express speed. Money certainly will not be allowed 
to come in the way if the project is a productive one. It is thus especially 
necessary to hold on to really good men. Voorduin with his experience 
of T.V.A. is particularly useful and it would be a great pity to lose him. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. File No. 17(8)/47-PMS. 1ft ., 

2. Mcmber-in-charge of hydro-electricity, Central Technical Power Board, 1944-47. 


417 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

2. To C. Rajagopalacharl 1 

New Delhi 
26 June 1947 

My dear Rajaji, 

Some days ago J.C. Ghosh 2 of the Bangalore Institute came to see me 
and he talked about certain eminent German scientists who are availa- 
ble in Germany and who* might be very useful in India. I am. not parti- 
cularly in favour of importing scientists or others from abroad, unless 
there is special need for them. Still, I think that a man of eminence in 
the scientific or technical field should be welcomed by us and should 
prove extraordinarily helpful. I understand that some department, pro- 
bably the Education Department, has appointed a commission to rove 
about Europe and America in search of scientific and technical men. I 
dislike this idea 1 of a commission going in this way and spending months 
and months over the process. More particularly, I think that we should 
not go to America for any such men as Americans are frightfully expen- 
sive. England is almost out of the question, because they cannot spare 
any first-class men and it is no good getting second-class men. For other 
reasons also I should imagine that it is not desirable just at present to go 
in search of scientists in England. 

In effect, the only real field left to us is Germany and Austria, and, 
possibly, Scandinavia. The real pick of the German and Austrian scien- 
tists has probably been taken away by the United States of America and 
other countries. Still, I understand that some very good men are availa- 
ble at relatively small salaries. I think it will be worthwhile exploring this 
matter in Germany and Austria, but I am entirely opposed to a roving 
commission for Europe and America. 

Ghosh told me that he was probably going to Europe on some com- 
mittee or other business and that Bhatnagar might also go. I suggested 
that during their visit to Europe they might specially try to meet some 
of the available German scientists. Personal interviews are far better than 
any other method. The point is that a person is not engaged vaguely for 
scientific work but for a particular job or aspect of work that is needed 
here. 

1. File No. 17(8)/47-PMS. 

2. Jnan Chandra Ghosh (1894-1959); Professor of Chemistry, Dacca University, 
1921-39; Director, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 1939-47; Director, 
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, 1950-54; Vice-Chancellor, Univer- 
sity of Calcutta, 1954-55; General President, Indian Science Congress, 1939; 
member, Indian scientific mission to U.K. and U.S.A., 1944-45; member, 
Planning Commission, 1955-59. 


418 


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 


I spoke in these terms to Bhatnagar also, but subsequently. I felt that 
Bhatnagar’s absence from India at this stage might not be desirable. We 
are very much in the formative stage and we might and indeed are likely 
to require Bhatnagar here for consultations in regard to many matters. I 
feel, therefore, that it would not be desirable for Bhatnagar to go now. 
He should stay on till the changeover in August and later, if necessary, 
we can consider his going. It is obvious that in the new set up we have 
immediately to think in terms of pushing our various scientific and plan- 
ning projects through. We shall have to work then at break-neck speed. 
In making this set-up Bhatnagar’s advice is likely to prove very helpful. 
Not only as an individual, but as representing his department, I hope, 
therefore, that it will be possible! for him to stay on here. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

I am informed that I was wrong in thinking that some kind of a roving 
commission was going to be sent to Europe and America. Only Ghosh 
and Sen Gupta 3 are going to Europe. To that I have no objection- 

3. Manoranjan Sen Gupta (b. 1903); a noted engineer and member of the edu- 
cation panel of the Planning Commission. 


3. To C.H. Bhabha 1 

New Delhi 
28th June 1947 


My dear Bhabha, 

Thank you, for your letter of the 27th about Voorduin. 2 I must say that 
the demands he made were formidable and I would hesitate to accede 
to all of them. Anyway the matter is in your hands and I have no doubt 
that you will fix up what is best in the circumstances. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. File No, 17(8)/47-PMS. 

2. In his letter of 27 January 1947 Bhabha had written that Voorduin had agreed 

for a further term of service in India provided the new agreement was on a 
monthly basis with a monthly fee of Rs. 10,000/- in addition to the payments 
under the old contract. 


419 








V 
























■ 


ith-zds* c\ 

teei;: ' 

. 

- ~ ' " : •' ' • • • ■ ' ' 


14 

MISCELLANEOUS 



MISCELLANEOUS 


1. To Akbar Hydari 1 


New Delhi 
6 June 1947 


My dear Hydari, 

Eleven years ago I went to Assam and I heard the story of the Naga 
girl popularly called Rani Gaidilieu- 2 She had been in prison for six or 
seven years then. I have been greatly interested in her ever since then. 
I understand that a year or two ago she was released from prison and 
allowed to live somewhere under some restrictions. 

I* hope you will look into her case and be able to give her complete 
freedom. It seems to me rather extraordinary that a young girl, whatever 
her original offence, should be made to spend sixteen years in jail or in 
some kind of detention and should even now not be allowed her freedom. 
I do hope you will be able to release her completely. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. J.N. Collection. 

2. See Selected Works, Vol. 8, pp. 501-502. 


2. To Kishen Prasad Dar 1 


New Delhi 
26 June 1947 


My dear Kishen ji, . 

I have spoken and written to you several times about my little book 
Letters from a Father to His Daughter. I think it is fantastic that this book 
should not be available for the public either in English or Hindi or Urdu. 
In other language editions it is so available. If you cannot arrange to 
bring out suitable editions for the public in these three languages, I pro- 
pose to make other arrangements. You mentioned to me once that the 
contract with the Oxford University Press came in the way of any other 
publisher issuing this book. I do not think it comes in the way as that 
contract deals with the special school edition. Anyway you can make 
this clear to the Oxford University Press. If there is any difficulty, 
sooner this contract is ended the better- 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


t, J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 


423 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


3. To N.S. Hardikar 1 


New Delhi 
26 June 1947 


My dear Hardikar, 

I have your letter of the 24th June. 2 I did not know that you had been 
put in charge of the Congress Seva Dal work. I am glad to learn that 
you have undertaken this responsibility. I shall gladly help you in so 
far as I can. I fear, however, that at present I can offer you little advice 
in the matter. I think we have delayed far too long in organising this im- 
portant work. Still it is better late than never. In view of the changing 
circumstances, however, I am unable to give any effective advice. Per- 
haps a little later I might be able to do so. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. N.S. Hardikar Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. Hardikar, who was entrusted with the task of reorganising the Congress Seva 
Dal after the resignation of Shah Nawaz Khan from this body, sought 
Nehru’s views on running a volunteer organisation under the changed cir- 
cumstances. 


4. To Rukmini Devi 1 

New Delhi 
26 June 1947 

Dear Rukmini Devi, 2 

I have your letter. I am afraid it is wholly beyond my capacity to find 
time to write anything worthwhile for the memorial volume you are pro- 
ducing for Dr. Annie Besant. But I cannot refrain from paying a brief 
tribute to her. This is given below. 3 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. Rukmini Devi (b. 1904); married G.S. Arundale, 1920; actively connected with 
the management of the Besant Theosophical High School, Madras, since its 
foundation in 1934; founded Kalakshctra, a cultural organisation, in Madras 
in 1935; nominated member of Rajya Sabha, 1952-64; received Sangeet Natak 
Akademi Award for dancing in 1957; President, Kalakshetra. 

3. See the succeeding item. 


424 


MISCELLANEOUS 


5. Annie Besant 1 


One of the outstanding events in my life is the day when I first met Annie 
Besant. I was twelve then and both her personality, the legends that 
already surrounded her heroic career, and her oratory overwhelmed me. 
With a young boy’s admiration and devotion I gazed at her and follow- 
ed her about. Then came a gap of many years during which period I 
hardly saw her; but that admiration continued for a great and unique per- 
sonality. Long years afterwards I again came into intimate contact with 
her in the political field and again I became a devoted admirer- 

It has been a very great privilege for me to have known her and to 
have worked with her to some extent, for undoubtedly she was a domi- 
nating figure of the age. India especially owes a very deep debt of grati- 
tude for all she did to enable her to find her own soul. 

1. Enclosure to Nehru’s letter to Rukmini Devi, 26 June 1947. J.N. Papers, 
N.M.M.L. 


6. To Sri Prakasa 1 

New Delhi 
28 June 1947 

My dear Prakasa, 

I received your letter of June 19th from Kathmandu as also the previous 
letter regarding Krishnaji 2 3 and the Herald. 

I am very sorry to learn that your companion 1 on the Nepal mission 
did not play up and tried to function on his own. 4 This was most objec- 
tionable. However, I hope that your visit there will do some good. I 
should like to discuss this with you when we meet. 

1 

2 

3 

4 


J.N. Collection. 

A businessman of Lucknow. 

The reference is probably to R.U. Singh. , DII h 

Sri Prakasa, accompanied by legal experts, Raghunath Singh and R.U. Sing ^ 
had gone to Nepal to help the Reforms Committee in its task of sugges g 
changes in the administration so that it could be carried on by an assem . 
elected and nominated' members. 


425 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


About Kxishnaji and the Herald , I have written to Feroze. I do not 
know exactly how matters stand. Apparently there is a large overdraft 
on the bank and Krishnaji is personally responsible for it. During the 
past two months we have paid back fifty or sixty thousand rupees to 
another bank and I have no doubt that this other overdraft also will be 
tackled soon. In view, however, of Krishnaji’s insistence, something has 
got to be done soon and I have written to Feroze about it. I would myself 
undertake the liability if I was not connected with Government. I am 
rather surprised at the bank giving trouble because the Herald is in a 
much sounder financial position now than it had ever been in the past. 
They put up with us when our finances were insecure. Now that they are 
stable, there should have been less difficulty. 

There is another matter which I want to write to you about. Feroze 
has beenj in the Herald now for over six months and, from all accounts, 
has done very good work. Our income is between sixty and seventy 
thousand rupees a month and we are gradually reducing our liabilities. 
What is more important is that there is peace in the Herald office and 
cooperation between the editorial, managerial and press departments. 

Feroze has been serving in an honorary capacity thus far. I think it 
is improper and unbusinesslike for this to continue. I suggest, therefore, 
that he should be given a salary from now onwards. What the salary 
should be, it is for you and the Directors to determine. Our topmost salary 
is Rs. 750 for Chalapathi Rau. Sitaram, an assistant manager and superin- 
tendent of the press, gets Rs. 500. I think Feroze might be given some- 
thing in between, say, Rs. 600. 

Let me know when you are coming to Delhi as I want to discuss Nepal 
matters with you. 

Yours affectionately, 
Jawaharlal 


7. To Horace Alexander 1 

New Delhi 
14 July 1947 

My dear Horace, u r 

Thank you for your letter of the 3rd July and the list of birds at Kha l 

It is a formidable and most attractive list. But reading your letter and 
this list I find a little sad. Khali and the birds seem very far away from 
New Delhi. 

1. J.N. Collection. 


426 


MISCELLANEOUS 


I hope you arc quite well now. 


Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 


8. On the Importance of Trees 1 


I have great interest in gardening. While I was in jail I developed that 
taste. It used to give me great pleasure to watch how plant life grew. It 
isj a matter of surprise that so far no interest has been taken in tree plan- 
tation- 

Large tracts of the country have become deserts owing to the negligence 
of the people, who cut trees without realizing their great value. To me 
cutting a well-grown tree is as painful and intolerable as killing a man. 
There should be a law that no one should cut a tree unless he has first 
planted a new one in its place. 

The great harm done by cutting trees can be seen from the sandy 
wastes in Rajputana and elsewhere. There was a time when these parts 
contained many forests. They had somehow been destroyed and salt and 
sand spread over the whole area. The land is fertile and if only enough 
water could be made available the* whole area would become^ cultivable. 

I hope that tree plantation would be encouraged and people would help 
in beautifying the city. 

1. Speech at a meeting organised in connection with the tree plantation week, 
New Delhi, 20 July 1947. The Hindustan Times, 21 July 1947. 


9. To Mahatma Gandhi 1 

24 - 7-47 


Dear Bapu, 

Received your letter . 2 It is always our duty to pay full attention to your 
views. But I think that if the Maulana goes out it would harm us much. 


1. 

2 . 


Pyarelat Papers, N.M.M.L. (Original in Hindi.) . 

[n his letter of 24 July 1947 Mahatma Gandhi wrote: “Sardar is decidedly 
against his (Azad’s) membership in the cabinet and so is Rajkuman. our 
cabinet must be strong and effective at the present juncture. It should not be 
iifficult to name another Muslim for the cabinet. 


427 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


I fully agree with you that we should take such persons as can do the best 
possible work. We try to follow this principle. But whether in the Con- 
gress or in the Provincial Government it is not acted upon much. So 
many other factors are taken into consideration on the basis of which 
decisions are taken. About this matter we all shall talk with you later. 

Yours, 

Jawaharlal 


10. The Congress in Bengal 1 


I understand that the President of the Bengal P.C.C. has invited P.C.C. 
members, Congress members of the Legislature and others to meet in 
convention to consider particularly the problems that face Bengal . 2 I 
think this is a wise move. Much has happened during recent months and 
many changes, good or bad, have taken place which make it incumbent 
on us to review the situation fully and decide upon the course of action. 
We should be in no hurry to take any new steps without full thought- 
I think the Bengal P.C.C. should continue both because constitutionally 
this is the right course and because this will give a chance for joint con- 
sideration of the problems. As future takes shape, we may reconsider our 
previous decision, but, for the present, there appears to be no need for 
constitutional changes in the structure of the Congress . 3 

I wish the convention every success. 


1. Message to a convention of Bengal Congress workers, Mymensingh, 25 July 
1947. From Hindusthan Standard , 26 July 1947. 

2. The people of Bengal feared a recrudescence of communal riots following the 
celebration of the independence day on 14 August in Pakistani and the mino- 
rities had become panicky. The problem before the Congress was how to get 
the cooperation of the leaders and workers of the Muslim League to restore 
confidence among the people and ensure peace and progress in the new State. 

3. The convention, held on 26 and 27 July 1947, expressed the opinion that any 
division of the Bengal Provincial Congress Committee would be detrimental 
to the interest of Bengal. 


428 


MISCELLANEOUS 


11. To John Matthal 1 

New Delhi 
29 July 1947 

My dear Matthai, 

The Gandhi Ashram, Meerut, has received a large number of orders to 
make the new national flag out of khadi. Governmental orders thus far 
amount to over 6,000 flags of a large size. Municipalities and District 
Boards are also ordering these flags. So also the public. These flags have 
not only to be made quickly but have to be sent to their destination very 
soon. A difficulty has arisen owing to the rules for sending the parcels 
containing the flags by passenger train or post. Apparently there are some 
restrictions about this matter. I hope these restrictions will be removed 
for at least a fortnight so that the flags can be sent as soon as ready. 
Could you please look into this matter and issue the necessary orders im- 
mediately? 

The Gandhi Ashram has two main centres where they will make these 
flags. One is at Meerut, U.P., the other is at Akbarpur, Fyzabad District, 
U.P. 

Yours sincerely, 
Jawaharlal Nehru 

1. J.N. Papers, N.M.M.L. 


12. The Congress Seva Dal 1 


Indiscipline is the greatest enemy of a nation and that is the foe that we 
have to guard ourselves against, now that- our fight with the external 
enemy has almost come to an end. 

Our objective is being realized, and this is the time when we must 
guard against conflicts and indiscipline among ourselves. I find traces of 
them even among Congressmen. This is not a healthy sign. 

Our first task at present is to strengthen our Government. First things 
must come first as sometimes good deeds are apt to bear bad fruits if 
done at inopportune moments. The old machine is wearing out, giving 

1. Speech at a meeting of the G.O.C.s of the Congress Seva Dal at New Delhi. 

30 July 1947. Indian Newt Chronicle, 31 July 1947. 


429 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


place to new and it is our duty to set that new machine on a sound foot- 
ing. Any untoward and ill-conceived step at such a moment is sure to 
bring harm to the cause. For example, strikes of mill workers and 
their demands may be quite justified in particular circumstances but if 
such steps are taken at a wrong moment these arc sure to harm all con- 
cerned. Our internal differences are apt to undo all what we have done 
so far. We have all committed mistakes in the past but this is the time 
when we have of necessity to work as disciplined soldiers. 

This is the time when the country needs the services of the Congress 
Seva Dal most. You, the Seva Dal volunteers, have both to learn and to 
teach discipline and united effort. Our country has yet to go far to take 
its place in the comity of nations. If you want to achieved that goal you 
should not waste your energy in futile discussions but go ahead with 
strength, unity and discipline. 


13 Delhi 1 


The main task before a municipality is the removal of slums and chawls 
and to provide civic amenities to the people, particularly the poor. The 
real beauty; of a city does not lie in a few palatial buildings but in the 
absence of slums. 

You should by all means try to beautify the city by laying out impos- 
ing public buildings and fine roads. But I shall prefer a beginning to be 
made with the construction of houses for the poor. It pains me to see the 
vast majority of the people living in chawls and mud huts. The duty of 
any good Government is to remove this incongruity. 

Delhi is not only the capital of India but her soul and the centre of 
her culture. 

One basic and significant fact that has to be learnt from India’s his- 
tory is the capacity of her people to assimilate new ideas and accept new 
people. In that lay India’s greatness. In the past century or so she has 
failed in keeping up her traditions and this has led to the country’s de- 
cline. India will be great only if she can adjust herself to new trends of 
thought and circumstances. 

1. Speech at the opening ceremony of the new meeting hall of the Delhi Muni- 
cipal Committee, 10 August 1947. The Hindustan Times, 11 August 1947. 

430 


MISCELLANEOUS 


14. Two Alternatives before the Congress 1 


As for the suggestion from certain quarters that now since the Congress 
has achieved its goal — the country’s independence — it should be dissolved, 
there are two alternatives before the Congress. Either to remain, as at 
present, an organisation consisting of all anti-imperialistic forces or to 
remain as a party based on certain political and economid principles. In 
the long run the latter course may have to be adopted; but if thd Con- 
gress is dissolved just now various disruptive forces, which are already 
showing signs of growth, will crop up and grow, ultimately resulting in 
chaos which no sane man would like. 

The Congress/ should now maintain, as is done by parties in power in 
Western countries, an elaborate machinery to collect statistics and start 
various research institutes to facilitate the work of the government of the 
party. Congress must now serve a twofold purpose; firstly it should voice 
the popular will and secondly remove any misunderstandings in public 
mind created by interested parties. 

The Congress has always in view the welfare of the workers; but their 
grievances can be met only so far as conditions allow. When the schemes 
launched by the present Indian Government are accomplished the eco- 
nomic position of the country will change. 

As tot the question of the removal of controls the Government is on 
the horns of a dilemma. Some economists as well as a section of pub- 
lic opinion are in favour of removal of controls but some others includ- 
ing some of the Provincial Governments are of the opinion that they will 
be exposed to the utmost danger if controls are removed. 

Regarding the objections raised by a number of Congressmen and others 
with regard to the place of the I.C.S. under the new regime I may say 
that ini these matters merit is the supreme consideration. In fact the Gov- 
ernment needs a much greater number of I.C-S. men but they are not 
available. After all we have to govern and serve the people and for this 
experience and ability are needed. Apart from this we have to pay the 
I.C.S. men in any case; so we have decided to extract work from them 
and then pay them. We will not pay them without any work. 


1. Address to the members of the A.I.C.C. staff at Allahabad on 11 August 1947. 
From Amrita Bazar Patrika , 13 August 1947, and A.I.C.C. File No. C.P.D. 
1(15)/1947, pp. 1-7, N.M.M.L. 


431 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

15. Women and the National Struggle 1 


I find it a little difficult to write a foreword to this little book. The diffi- 
culty is not the book but the author of the book. How am I to deal with 
her and her writings? They do not require any commendation from me, 
and I would dislike to criticise overmuch. 

It is easy to criticise any set of views in this complicated world that 
we live in. And Aruna Asaf Ali often says and writes something that is 
liable to criticism. But that criticism, however justified, would be poor 
stuff, for it would deal with some superficial aspect of a living, vibrant 
and challenging personality, who has shaken up many a sleeping person 
and become in many ways a symbol of these changing times. 

Symbols are often disturbing and challenges are disconcerting. And so 
Aruna is both a disturbing and disconcerting individual to many. She 
does not fit in easily into the usual pattern, and perhaps she deliberately 
avoids doing so. She feels that she has a mission and is anxious to live 
up to it. The real crusaders are always few in number and there is some- 
thing of the crusader, to a cause to which she is passionately attached, 
about her. 

A crusader produces varying reactions on different people. The very 
force of personality and will attracts, and charms, and compels attention. 
And yet many people, afraid of this very compulsion of a personality 
or feeling uncomfortable because they are continually reminded of the 
crusade which might have the effect of upsetting their lives, do not like 
this impact. They prefer the normal routine of their lives. 

Most of us go through that routine untouched and uninfluenced by 
external events or by the attraction of a great purpose. Some feel that 
attraction intellectually and try to work to that end, though without up- 
setting the even tenor of their lives. Yet others, few in number, feel in 
addition to the intellectual attraction a powerful emotional urge which 
drives them incessantly to action. That emotional urge comes usually not 
by the reading of books but by the impact of events. 

During the last quarter of a century or more events have often moved 
fast in India bringing in their train shock and surprise, frustration and 
exhilaration. Many amongst us have been so affected by this shock of 
events that our lives and even our inner being have undergone a trans- 
formation. 

1. Foreword to Travel Talk by Aruna Asaf Ali (Aundh. 1947). 


432 


MISCELLANEOUS 


That was the effect in 1919 and 1920 on a very large number of per- 
sons as a result of Gandhiji’s leadership in the national movement. Ten 
years later another wave passed over the land sweeping thousands of 
men and women and influencing millions. Yet again, in the early forties 
India was convulsed and out of this convulsion new symbols arose, stern 
and unbending and with something of iron in their souls. Aruna Asaf Ali 
was no newcomer on the political scene. But 1942 transformed her and 
made her different from what she had been. 2 She stood out as an extraor- 
dinarily courageous fighter for India’s freedom and because she was a 
woman and daughter of India, she struck even more the imagination of 
the Indian people. 

Among the many strange things that have happened in India during 
this quarter of a century, perhaps the most notable is the emergence of 
Indian womanhood. Large numbers of Indian women have played an 
important role in our struggle for freedom. Many of them have stood out 
by their ability, capacity for organisation and self-sacrifice for a cause. 
Some of them can be ranked very high in any assembly of women all 
over the world- This fact, more than any other, demonstrates the renais- 
sance of the Indian people and the strong foundations on which we have 
built our movement for freedom. 

This little book mirrors this remarkable personality, not only in ideas 
but in the vigour of its style. It is good writing but it is something much 
more than that, for it compels attention and forces people to think. Any 
book that does all this is a worthwhile book and the reader is the better 
for having read it, though he may feel a little uncomfortable in the pro- 
cess. It matters little whether one agrees with its main thesis or not. But 
it does matter whether our minds are static and closed or dynamic and 
receptive. 

For these reasons I commend this book and hope that there will be 
many to read it. In the reading of it they will have some glimpse of that 
passionate urge which moves India and which will ultimately take India 
far. What that new India is going to be, none of us can say. But what- 
ever form or shape it may assume, it will consist of vital persons mov- 
ing forward with dynamic urges. And it is well for a nation when this 
is so. 


2. Aruna Asaf Ali worked underground during the years of the Quit India 
movement. The warrant of arrest against her was withdrawn in 1946 


433 


















15 

APPENDIX 













APPENDIX 


1. To Indira Nehru 1 


Allahabad 

9 . 1.38 


Darling Indu, 

News from Europe tells us that almost the whole continent in in the grip 
of a cold wave . 2 I have been wondering how you fared in South Germany 
where it must have been terribly cold. Probably this was! good for winter 
sports. Here the cold has suddenly retreated and we are having a fairly 
warm spell. 

I was in Bombay last week for five days for the Working Committee 
meeting . 3 It was warm there of course. Bapu was recuperating at Juhu 
and I went there twice . 4 The beach was delightful and I was sorely tem- 
pted to have a dip in the sea. But no such luck. 

In Bombay I met Somerset Maugham , 5 the writer. Also Gunther, the 
author of Inside Europe, and his wife . 0 Last year Gunther; published his 
diaries in Nash’s Magazine 7 — perhaps you saw them- He had met me two 
years ago in London and he had said in his diary that I had a rich 
chocolate complexion exactly like Josephine Baker s . 8 The poor man was 
repeatedly reminded of this, much to his embarrassment. I presided over a 
meeting he addressed in Bombay 3 and our speeches were broadcasted. I 
think this was the first time I have been broadcasted in this way. 

The house is full at present. There is Nan and her children and Betty 
and her kids. But soon Anand Bhawan will be empty again. Nan is going 
to Lucknow tonight and Chand & co. will go back to Woodstock. Betty 
will be going to Bombay. I shall go to Lucknow and from there to Lahore 

1. Indira Gandhi Papers* N.M.M.L. 

2. At this time Indira was studying at Somerville College, Oxford. 

3. The Congress Working Committee, presided over by Nehru, met in Bombay 

from 2 to 4 January 1938. ' . 


II UHL X IU f urn; . , 

4 Mahatma Gandhi, who was suffering from high blood pressure, stayed in Juhu, 
Bombay, from 7 December 1937 to 7 January 1938 on medical advice. On 2 


and 3 January Nehru called on him. 



9 On 5 January 1938, Nehru presided over a 
at the Cowasji Jehangir Hall, Bombay. The 
gress Socialist Party. 


437 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

and the Frontier. On my return at the end of the month I shall have to 
go to Wardha for another Working Committee meeting. 10 Soon after this 
will be the Haripura Congress. 11 I am so tired of this moving about. But 
constant travelling is an unavoidable routine in this vast country for a 
politician. 

What is far worse is the conflict that is rapidly developing within the 
Congress. 12 I am worried about this and I do not know what I shall do 
after Haripura. I want to be free from all burdens of office and to devote 
myself to special departments of Congress work as well as reading and 
writing- But it is not always possible to do what one wants to do. And 
when a serious situation arises, one cannot shirk responsibility. So I am 
in a tangle. 

You will let me know, will you not?, if you want more money. I have 
a small balance at Lloyd’s now and I can let you have a cheque if you 
are in need of it. I suppose you received <£50 on January 1st through 
Lloyd’s. 

Love, 

Papu 

I suppose you have met Subhas Bose in London. He will be declared 
elected to the Congress Presidentship in another week or ten days. 13 

10. The Working Committee, presided over by Nehru, met at Wardha from 3 to 6 
February 1938. 

11. The 51st session of the Indian National Congress was held at Haripura in 
Gujarat from 19 to 21 February 1938 under the presidentship of Subhas Bose. 

12. Differences had been growing between Mahatma Gandhi and Subhas Bose. 

13. On 18 January 1938, it was announced that Subhas Chandra Bose had been 
elected President of the Haripura session of the Indian National Congress. 


2. To Indira Nehru 1 


Allahabad 
Jan. 14 1938 


Darling Indu, 

Some days ago I wrote to you a brief note. But that day was not to end 
before death again hovered over Anand Bhawan. 2 Before we had re- 

1. Indira Gandhi Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. Nehru’s mother, Swarup Rani Nehru, died on 10 January 1938. 


438 


APPENDIX 


covered from one shock, another came and numbed us. 3 Death is almost 
always an unwelcome visitor and yet it came as it should come — sudden- 
ly and in the fullness of time. I was always afraid that, Dolamma might 
be paralysed and linger on in pain and torment. Fortunately there was the 
briefest of pain, if any, and she fainted and became wholly unconscious 
right at the beginning. For nearly six hours she remained in this state, 
breathing heavily, and then quietly and peacefully passed away in the 
early morning at 4.45 a.m- 

We had spent a busy bustling day. Nan was going that night to Lucknow 
and Chand, Tara and Rita were following in the car the next morning. 
Betty and her children were leaving soon for Bombay. And so there was 
packing and arranging and talking and I felt too tired to go to office 
and remained at home most of the time. I played with the children. And 
then there were several big packing cases containing caskets and address- 
es from Assam and these had been opened. I sent for Vyas to take them 
away for the museum. There was more of a family atmosphere than I 
had experienced for a long time. Dolamma was more active than usual 
and I noticed particularly that she was better than she had been. We sat 
down to dinner, a large family party and Dolamma and Bibi 4 also sat there. 
We talked of old times and family affairs and told stories of each other. 
Then Nan went away to pack and prepare for departure. We all adjourn- 
ed to Dolamma’s room. She asked me about you — how you were — if I 
had heard from you recently — if I had written to you. I told her that I 
had written that very evening. ‘Did you send my love to her?’ she asked. 
I confessed that I had not specifically mentioned it but it was there of 
course taken for granted. But she was not satisfied- She said she could 
not make herself and so I must not forget to send you always her love. 
I promised to do so. 

We all moved to Nan’s dressing room and sat there for a few minutes. 
It was about 10.45 p m. Nan said it was time for her to go and we all 
got up. Dolamma got up, from a stool on which she had been sitting, 
with some difficulty. She bent forward to embrace Nan and suddenly fell 
towards Nan. Nan and I took hold of her. We saw that all was not well 
and that something had happened. I asked her what the matter was but 
there was no answer. I took her gently to her bedroom, partly leading her, 
partly 1 almost carrying her. She tried to walk but was not very successful. 
We put her in bed and soon she was wholly unconscious. She started 
breathing hard. The doctor came and said it was bad attack of paralysis 


3. On 11 January 1938, Rajpati Kaul, sister of Swarup Rani Nehru, died at 
Anand Bhawan. 

4. Rajpati Kaul. 


439 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


and the brain was probably affected — cerebral haemorrhage. If so there 
was little hope. Anyway there was nothing to be done except to wait and 
see for the next few hours. Bibi and I were in her room all night and 
Nan and Betty were next door in Nan’s room, coming in frequently to 
see how mother was. At about 4.30 a.m. the hard breathing became slower 
and quieter. At 445 it was all over. That was exactly the time seven years 
ago when Dadu died. 

After the first shock Bibi worked hard at various arrangements. There 
were crowds of people coming. All business was suspended in the city 
and at midday the funeral procession started. On the insistence of people 
this took a long route, right through Katra and Chowk, on to the em- 
bankment and then to the Sangam. A vast, more or less silent crowd fol- 
lowed. 

We returned about 4.30 p.m. I learnt on return that Bibi, after finish- 
ing up the cleaning, had felt unwell and had fainted. She was lying 
unconscious and was breathing in exactly the same way as mother had 
done the night before. Still we thought that she was merely tired out. 
The doctor came and disillusioned us, telling us that Bibi was suffering 
from exactly the same trouble as Dolamma. She did not regain consci- 
ousness. At 4.45 a.m. exactly on January 11th she passed away. 

So within 24 hours we had two deaths in Anand Bhawan and though 
Death had triumphed, it seemed almost that it came at Bibi’s bidding- 
It was strange how peaceful both the faces were after death, especially 
Bibi’s. 

People have come to us in large numbers. And thousands of messages. 
And incessant activity has kept us moving and occupied during these three 
days. But this house feels strange and odd, and I find myself going un- 
consciously to mother’s room to say good night to her or to ask her about 
something. 

Anand Bhawan has been full. It will be completely deserted day after 
tomorrow. Nan has just gone to Lucknow, Betty and Raja (he rushed up 
to Allahabad on learning of mother’s death) are leaving after a few hours. 
So am I and Ranjit. I do not like the idea of living here all by myself. 

We shall have to seek fresh adjustments and to settle down to new 
ways. That always happens as one generation passes off leaving the stage 
to another. One generation in our family has now gone completely, and 
I have become an elder, gradually fading off. It is going to be lonely in 
Anand Bhawan. In the next fortnight 1 shall be away and then I shall 
come back. 

It is meal time and crowds of pilgrims are streaming into Anand Bha- 
wan. The house remains but more and more! it becomes a hollow shell. 
So it will remain till a new spirit fills its empty rooms and verandas. 


440 


APPENDIX 


And so I shall keep my last promise to your grandmother and send you 
her love. But how can I convey in words the abundance and intensity 
of that love of hers for you? Or her love for her son which enveloped 
her and filled her- I know well that whatever of love and affection may 
be in store for us in the future, and we have been fortunate in that res- 
pect in the past, neither* of us will ever experience that full flood of un- 
selfish and enveloping love that only a mother or a grandmother can give. 

But we must not be sorrowful for she died at the right time and as she 
should have done. For years now she was almost a wraith, weary of life. 
Death must have been a release to her. 

Love, 


Papu 


3. To Indira Nehru 1 

Kohat 

24-1-38 

Darling, 

A letter came from you yesterday reaching me at Peshawar . 2 I feel like 
writing to you although I am tired after a very heavy day and it is late. 
A more serious difficulty is the lack of a suitable pen to write. My three 
fountain pens have suddenly and most unaccountably failed me — includ- 
ing my close companion of seven or eight years which wrote the Glimpses 
and? the Auto. Almost there seems to have been a conspiracy in the pen 
world. I have to use Upadhyaya’s pen and this is. utterly bad. 

Three, four days in the Frontier have been full of interest and even 
some excitement. The weather has been ideal — cold and sunny. In the day 
time the sun is hot and almost scorching but the wind is cold. In the 
shade one shivers. I would love to sun-bathe in this climate. I find my 
appetite going up. 

At Abbottabad a welcome gate consisting of pillars of snow was erect- 
ed. I have had tremendous welcome everywhere, including the welcome 
of the tribal people in the independent areas. One old Khan — (the wret- 
ched pen has failed me!), who had lost everything during the civil dis- 
obedience movement and had his house burnt down by the military, 

1. Indira Gandhi Papers, N.M.NI.L. 

2. Nehru toured the North West Frontier Province from 21 to 27 January 1938. 

See also Selected Works, Vol. 8. pp. 472-478. 


441 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


gave me his warm chital coat. It was an ancient well worn garment, not 
over clean. But it was the most precious thing he had and he gave it to 
me. It is no use to me, but the graciousness of the gift has made it very 
valuable. 

Today we motored from Peshawar to Kohat. On the w r ay we passed 
through many miles of tribal territory inhabited by the Afridis. At every 
village they had turned out in force to welcome) us, almost everyone with 
a gun carelessly hanging round his shoulder. There are no restrictions on 
the; keeping of arms in this tribal area and dearer than wife or child is 
the gun of the Afridi. They make them themselves in primitive fashion but 
astonishingly good and cheap. 

The Afridis gave us a welcoming salvo of gun fire before each village. 
We had to get done and speak to them and have tea and half boiled eggs. 
It was difficult to consume eggs every two hundred yards or so, yet one 
had to do it. Then came a regular banquet dumba (roast lamb) and fine 
thick bread. Both were well cooked. At one place a lamb and a goat 
were presented to us alive. We could not carry them about and so we 
gave them back and I suppose they were slaughtered later- 

One of my Pathan hosts has presented me with some handspun and 
handwoven pieces of cloth done by his womenfolk. One piece was for 
me, the other and the finer one for Indira! It is a fine piece of work 
though done somewhat crudely. I thought of you at Oxford and now, 
whether you willed it or not, the burden of notoriety was already yours. 
And with that notoriety an abundance of affection and goodwill from 
numberless persons unknown to you. You cannot escape it or the res- 
ponsibility that it entails, even as I am a prisoner bound down by cords 
harder than those of steel. 

What a magnificent people are these men and women of the north. 
And the border tribes, about whom we read so much and perhaps ima- 
gine to be fierce savages, how hospitable and likable they are. 

Writing in pencil is a tiring business. So good-bye, my darling, 

Papu 


442 


APPENDIX 


4, To Indira Nehru 1 2 

Lucknow 

29 - 1-38 

Darling Indu, 

I have just come back from the Frontier a few hours at Lahore en route 
and now a few hours in Lucknow before I proceed to Allahabad. As I 
have come* here rather unexpectedly I have a little leisure and how can 
I employ it to better advantage than by writing to you? I shall be in 
Allahabad for two days only, tomorrow and the day after, and they will 
be very full days. So I am writing now but I shall post this letter from 
Allahabad where I expect to find your letters awaiting me. 

The week in the Frontier Privince has been full of new and worthwhile 
experiences and, if I had the time, I could write a lot about it. It has 
been a heartening time and I have had a peep at an aspect of India which 
few of us know' much about. I might have written to you again from the 
train or from some halting place but the tragedy of my fountain pens 
came in the way. At last someone took pity on me and presented me with 
his own pen. The nib does not suit but it functions anyway. 

The cold wind and the hot sun have left their mark on my face. It is 
sun-burnt and the skin is peeling off. But I feel fit and well except for a 
slight lack of sufficient sleep. My appetite, as I wrote to you, went up 
markedly and I consumed more meat than 1 I have ever done. There was 
little help for it as meat was the chief diet. One of the most satisfying 
meals I have had was with the Afridis in the tribal territory. It consisted 
of dumba — lamb roasted and thick bread somewhat resembling 
Even Upadhyaya relished it. 

My visit to the Frontier was fairly well reported and people are full 
of it here, especially the great welcome I had from the tribal people, 
particularly the Afridis and Waziris. I was presented with a lamb and a 
goat and one Afridi Khan even presented his son to Khan Sahib and me. 
A bit of a handful! We told him to join the Khudai Khitmatgars (the Red 
Shirts) and thus serve the country. These Red Shirts were all over the 
place and sometimes lined the road for miles. Each group had its pipers 
and drummers, and often bagpipes. In the tribal territory almost every- 
one seemed to have a gun — not the Red Shirts who were confined to the 
Frontier Province. We noticed even a donkey boy in the tribal area carry- 
ing a gun. Every group of villagers had a primitive gun factory. 


1. [ndira Gandhi Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. Shirmal — Leavened bread baked with ghee and milk. 

443 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


Fine upstanding men and women they were all over the Frontier and 
bonny children but all very poor and shabby. There was no cringing about 
them but an open-hearted welcome and hospitality. There was a tremen- 
dous shaking of hands with them and salam-aleikum and starey mashey 
and pa khair aqlai. The first you know — it is the universal Islamic greet- 
ing meaning ‘peace be upon you’ to which the answer is waleikum-as- 
salam — ‘and on you be peace.’ Starey mashey is a beautiful greeting. I 
think I wrote to you about it. It means ‘may you not get tired’. How 
suitable it is not only for travellers on the road but for all pilgrims through 
life. The third greeting pa khair aqlai means something to> the effect that 
you hope the person addressed has come in safety and well-being. 

I am so fascinated by these people that I want to get nearer to them 
and that can only be through their language — Pushtu. I have brought 
back primers and books in this. I wonder if I shall even have time to 
read them. But I have little doubt that I shall be drawn back to the 
Frontier. And next time I go that way I shall certainly try to cross over 
to Kashmir. • I was within a dozen miles of Kashmir this time and quite 
a number of Kashmiris came over to me to my meetings- 

Abdul Ghaffar Khan was always addressed as Fakhr-e- Afghan — the 
pride of the Afghans. Sometimes they addressed me as Fakhr-e-Hind — 
the pride of India. Once there was Jawaharlal Khan zindabad. 

The Red Shirts used to dance sometimes and I was struck by the re- 
semblance to Russian dancing. I realised the common origin from Cen- 
tral Asia — the Russian men’s dancing is I believe derived from Cassack 
dancing. And this made me realise that in effect, geographically and part- 
ly culturally, I was in Central Asia. There is a vast difference between 
the Frontier people and the Punjabis. And yet there was definitely that 
link, that something, which binds the whole of India together. My mind 
wandered repeatedly to past times and to the great events that the Fron- 
tier had seen. To the caravans that had come through and across it 
through countless ages — to the Aryans and Scythians and Turks and Huns 
and Mughals who had marched into India and been largely absorbed by 
India. To the coming of Alexander and the Macedonians — I crossed the 
Indus almost at the very spot where Alexander is supposed to have crossed. 

I thought of the ancient times of the Mahabharata when Afghanistan 
was called Gandhara (from which Gandhari, the mother of the Kaura- 
vas); of Ashoka who has innumerable memorials all over the Frontier, 
of the Kushan Empire with its seat at Peshawar, the meeting place of 
these great cultures; the Indians, the Chinese, and the Western Asian 
mixed with Graeco-Roman. The cultural intercourse of ages came to my 
mind — how India gave her religion and art to the Far East, her science 
and mathematics to the Arab world. But X cannot go on adding to this 
list! 


444 


APPENDIX 


Allahabad 
30th Jan. 

I could not continue this letter in Lucknow. My night journey was 
an exciting one as vast numbers of pilgrims were travelling for Mauni 
Amavosya mela here which takes place tomorrow. The platform was 
crowded with them and the third class carriages were crammed. I have 
never seen so many people jammed in a railway carriage. They were so 
tightly packed that it was literally impossible for a person to move or 
lift up his hand. Many of them were partly hanging out of the windows- 
I had an intermediate ticket but even the inter was overfull. A number 
of special trains had preceded us but still the rush continued. At the last 
moment some additional carriages were added and there was an empty 
2nd class compartment. So I promoted myself to 2nd. Within a half an 
hour, at a wayside station, my compartment was suddenly invaded by 
about 20 or 25 persons. They were all 3rd class passangers but I did 
not have the heart to ask them to go. They were decent folk and we 
made friends and travelled together for the rest of the night. They did 
everything in their power not to disturb me, and I, selfish creature, 
spread out on my berth and tried to sleep while the others were closely 
seated on all the berths as well as the floor of the compartment- The train 
was greatly delayed and arrived over two hours late. 

On arrival here I saw a sheaf of letters waiting for* me, among them 
three from you. But before dealing with them I shall carry on with my 
old theme — with intervening distraction. For I hear the jais of the pil- 
grims who come to visit Anand Bhawan in crowds and I have to go to 
see them every few minutes. They are swarming all over Anand Bhawan 
and Swaraj Bhawan, and I am the only person here to meet and wel- 
come them. 

Do you remember, when you were here, there was much excitement 
over the abduction of Hindu women by the Waziris? I issued a state- 
ment to the press also — ‘Bombing and Kidnapping on the Frontier When 
I was in, Bannu in the Frontier Province recently I referred to these in- 
cidents. Unfortunate as they were, it was obvious that the motive behind 
was economic. These dwellers of the bare mountains have little to sus- 
tain them and for generations their chief occupation has been fighting 
each other or the British Government. They try to make both ends meet 
by occasional raids and abductions of persons whom they hold up for 
ransom. They treat their captives courteously and well. They look upon 
the whole transaction as a purely business proposition. The policy of 
the British Government has kept them economically, educationally and 

2. See Selected Works, Vol. 8. pp. 457-462. 


445 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


culturally backward and has at the same time roused all their warlike in- 
stincts- A friendly approach and some planned attempt to meet their eco- 
nomic difficulties would go a long way to solve their problems. They are 
extraordinarily hospitable and susceptible to friendly overtures. 

As I was speaking to a vast audience at Bannu, which included many 
tribesmen, suddenly you crept into my mind and I began talking of you. 

I have a daughter, I said, an only child, young in years, whom I have 
sent abroad for her education. From her childhood upwards I have tried 
to make her self-reliant, so that she might be able to take care of herself 
wherever she might be and face every contingency with courage and con- 
fidence. I sent her to distant schools in various parts of India to enable 
her to get to know our countrymen better and have some knowledge of 
their languages. For I wanted her, as I want all others, to realise the 
diversity and at the same time the unity of this land of ours. I have sent 
her abroad so that she may get to know something of the wide world 
and its problems and so fit herself for the service of India and her peo- 
ple. I should like all young men and women in India to train themselves 
in some such way and thus become true and efficient soldiers of freedom. 
So I spoke. And then I said that if she happened to come to the Frontier 
territory, as I hoped she would, I would unhesitatingly and willingly 
agree to her going to Waziristan unaccompanied, for I was confident that 
she could look after herself and I was equally confident that the Waziris 
would welcome her and treat her as a friend and a guest. 

After the meeting a man from Waziristan came to me apparently 
thinking that you were on the point of starting from that country, and 
offered his services to accompany you and serve you during your journey. 

From Bannu we went to Dcra Ismail Khan, passing on the way big 
hills of solid rock salt. We saw the mining and brought away some beau- 
tiful crystals of salt. These salt hills, nature’s gift to man, are closely 
guarded by the Government of India so as to preserve their salt monopoly. 
And the poor people round about even lack for salt. Such is the modem 
world- 

I have just come back from my fourth or fifth visit to the^ verandah 
and portico to meet, the crowds that are pouring in. There is a hum all 
over this empty house. But the affection of these simple folk fills this 
emptiness. 

I now come to your letters. About the suggestion made by the Lief- 
tinck^ what do you expect me to say? Of course the cooperative move- 
ment is good and should be pushed, but to be a success it must have 
an economic and social) basis of the right kind. Just at present it is diffi- 
cult even to push it far. Kagawa* with all his earnestness and follow- 

3. Toyohiko Kagawa (1888-1960); Japanese poet, writer and social reformer. 


446 


APPENDIX 


ing has not been able to affect Japan’s policy. 

Do not bother about the complexities of the present situation in India. 
They are inevitable and no country can escape them. We must go through 
all these stages. Personally I keep well in spite of everything. I wish you 
had my health and vitality. 

About the Independence pledge 4 I think you are under some misap- 
prehension. The new pledge is not a toning down of the old one; it is a 
shortening of it and a leaving out of the last part calling for an immediate 
campaign of civil disobedience. This was necessary in 1930 but does not 
fit in with present circumstances. Otherwise the pledge is the same, minus 
some details. 

The ban on Congress ministers participating in official functions has not 
been lifted, though some ministers have misbehaved. Of course it is diffi- 
cult to draw the line often as the ministers themselves being high officials 
have to meet others on business. 

About your schools it is difficult for me to suggest anything worthwhile. 
Personally for myself I would prefer PP.E. 5 But that does not help as the 
choice has to be made by you. Miss Darbishire (; and your tutor should 
certainly be consulted. 

You must remember that these schools are really pegs on which you 
hang your general reading and training. Whichever peg is helpful should 
be taken, but the really important thing is something besides the peg. And 
this leads me to your health. It is not right that you should be tired out. 

Later 

I could not write on because of numerous interruptions. And then I 
went to the mela by the river bank and spent some time there. I have just 
returned. 

Why should you suffer from malaise? Your father seems to flourish 
under almost any conceivable circumstances and the ordinary ailments do 
not touch him. Do you worry about anything? I suppose I ought to worry 
about various matters but as a matter of fact I seldom do, and if I do 
get hot and bothered, it is only for a. short while. I recover soon. It is 
really not worthwhile and is certainly not helpful. Even worrying about 


4. On 26 January 1938, Independence Day was celebrated and a new independen- 
ce pledge was taken at public meeting. See also Selected Works, Vol. 8, p. 400. 
fn. 2. 

5. “Philosophy, Politics and Economics.” 

6. Helen Darbishire (1881-1961); authority on Wordsworth; Principal of Somer- 
ville College, Oxford, 1931-45. 


447 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


one’s health is not good enough. If you sleep enough and take some ex- 
ercise, then you can work as hard as you like. Do not overdo the exercise 
if you feel at all tired. I think one or two simple asans are definitely good, 
especially the Sarvangasana. Try doing this two or three times a day for 
a couple of minutes each time. It has an extraordinarily refreshing effect. 
Try also some simple breathing exercises — if you can remember what I 
used to do- All this takes very little time and it tones one up. 

Probably we shall meet next summer — in June or thereabouts. 7 I 
intend going to Europe but if that is not possible then you will have to 
come here. But I do not like the idea of your coming here in summer 
and I feel definitely that I want a mental change from India. So, unless 
the unforeseen occurs, I shall go West. After the Haripura Congress is over 
I shall! sit down and fashion out a programme. Just at present I am in a 
state of flux. 

You ask for some money. Of course you should let me know when you 
want it, or you can always write to Bachhraj direct. As a matter of fact 
the money that is paid to you two monthly cannot be enough for you. 
This amounts to £.300 a year. When I was at Cambridge^ I used to get 
about £400 a year but then my father was richer than yours! At the same 
time prices and costs of everything have gone up considerably since then. 
So it is quite natural that you should want to supplement your fixed al- 
lowance. It was meant to be supplemented. I enclose a cheque for £30. 
If you want more you will let me know. 

Today I received two rather unusual pictures of me — I do not remem- 
ber when they were taken — probably in Calcutta recently. 8 I am sending 
them to you. 

I enclose a translation of an interesting letter I received last October 
from the Faqir of Ipi, the Waziri leader. 9 I am issuing it to the press today. 

Do you remember my sending you a cutting of an article from The 
Modern Review called The Rashtrapati? 10 I have a confession to make. I 
wrote that article! It gave me some amusement and the idea of watching 


7. On 2 June 1938, Nehru sailed for Europe to see Indira and “to freshen up 
my tired and puzzled mind", and returned with Indira in November 1938. 

8. Nehru had visited Calcutta from 25 October to 2 November 1937 to attend 
the Congress Working Committee and A.I.C.C. meetings. 

9. The Faquir of Iqi had written: . .war between us and the Indian Government 

is entirely due to their unwarranted attack on our liberties, and not because of 
our proselytising mania .... the present situation in Waziristan is the result 
of the excesses and the policy of aggressive conquest adopted by the Govern- 
ment of India...” 

10. See Selected Works, Vol. 8, pp. 520-523. 


448 


APPENDIX 


other people’s reactions to it was also entertaining. One evening after din- 
ner I was in the mood to write and so I sat down to it and finished it 
off. I did not want anyone here to know and so did not even give it to 
Upadhyaya to type. I sent the manuscript in original to Padmaja and ask- 
ed her to send a typed copy to The Modern Review. Nobody found out. 
I have now taken a number of persons into the secret, and indeed it will 
not remain much of a secret for long. 

This letter has become scandalously long, and with its enclosures will 
make a bulky packet. But perhaps I shall not write to you a long letter 
again till after the Haripura Congress. So 1 have devoted a good part of 
today to you. 

Love. 

Papu 


5. To Indira Nehru 1 2 

Jarakhar 
Dist. Hamirpur, U.P- 
7-2.38 

Darling, 

Here I am in a remote rural area in the U.P. I have come here from 
Wardha by car and train, and I intended finishing up the journey by plane. 
But the plans fell through owing to the non-receipt of my telegram by 
the people here in time. An express telegram that I sent day before 
yesterday reached here this afternoon. And so when I reached Jhansi 
confidently expecting a plane to be waiting for me, I found to my sur- 
prise that there was not a soul expecting me. I did not feel very bright 
or happy about it as these few days before the Congress are full of work 
and I had only consented to come here after much persuasion. I betook 
myself to the waiting room, had a bath, and sat down to read Aldous 
Huxley’s Ends and Means.- For some time I have been carrying this 
about with me unread. And now I was suddenly at a loose end, an 
unusual experience. After my irritations toned down, I rather liked this 
experience. I found the book very interesting in the real sense of the 
word, that is thought-provoking. One was repeatedly compelled to ex- 
amine one’s own public activities by some of the tests suggested. 

1. Indira Gandhi Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. Published in 1937. 

449 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

But I was found out soon enough and taken away from my refuge. 
There was nothing special to be done and so I went out for a! drive. I 
saw (from outside) Rani Lakshmibai’s 3 palace, where now — a scandal- 
ous state of affairs — a kotwali flourishes. Later in the evening I took a 
slow train and after the train journey a long thirty-mile drive by car. 

A district conference is being held here . 4 It isi now all the fashion to 
hold our conferences in villages and this experiment, started at Faizpur 
last year , 5 6 has succeeded wonderfully. Vast crowds roll up and the whole 
atmosphere is that of rural India, so different from our towns- In the 
towns the villagers come of course but they feel out of place and ill at 
ease- About a month ago we had our U.P. Political Conference at 
Harduaganj , 0 a village near Aligarh. About a hundred thousand per- 
sons turned up — it was an astonishing sight. 

Successful as these conferences are, they are not unmixed blessings for 
the villagers. A large area is occupied. Crops have to be cut down (with 
compensation), and, what is worse, their neighbouring fields get spoilt. 
Thousands of people come by bullock carts and the bullocks graze about 
and consume the crops. 

I have just been for a midnight stroll in the grounds here. Thousands 
of people sleeping on the ground in the open — some with quilts 
most with cotton sheets only to cover them. Bullock carts parked all 
over the place. Scores of new shops put up temporarily. Some amuse- 
ments — a theatre, even a cinema! The little village blossoms out as a 
town almost. 

Haripura of course is going to do this on a grand scale. Under Nand- 
lal Bose’s directions an artistic town of huts is growing up with many of 
the modern conveniences — water supply, proper roads, electric lighting, 
sanitation, organised food supply &c. 

I must go to bed now. I have not had a decent night’s rest for a week. 
Because of this I havei agreed to fly back to Allahabad tomorrow. This 
will save me another tiring journey and a bad night- 


3. Rani Lakshmibai (1835-1858) became the regent of Jhansi State after 
the death of her husband in 1853. But the British refused to recognise her or 
her adopted son Damodar Rao. She fell fighting the British at the battle of 
Kotah-ki-Sarai in Gwalior on 17 June 1858. 

4. Nehru addressed the Hamirpur District Political Conference in the village of 
Jarakhar on 8 February 1938. 

5. The Faizpur Congress was held from 27 to 28 December 1936. See also 
Selected Works , Vol. 7, pp. 591-618. 

6. Nehru addressed the U.P. Political Conference at Harduaganj on 31 Decem- 
ber 1937. See Selected Works, Vol. 8, pp. 372-375. 


450 


APPBNDDC 


8th Feb., 

1J have been wandering about this village and the camps of the numer- 
ous village folk who have come here. This is Bundelkhand and the 
Bundelkhandis are a sturdy lot of people. It is a poor country, hilly 
and stony and lacking water. Consequently the people are poor and back- 
ward. The women here wear huge rings round their ankles — silver or of 
cheaper stuff, usually the latter. These vary in weight from a pound 
to ten pounds each. Imagine having to wear them and having to walk 
and run about with them! They are not only heavy but also broad so 
that the feet have to be kept fairly wide apart. They twinkle when the 
women walk; it is a pleasant sound. 

The more I see of village women the more I like their figures as com- 
pared to town women. Perhaps this is so because they work hard. But 
the ideal exercise for learning poise and the way to walk is to walk 
with a jar of water on the head. Almost every woman in the village here 
ha$ to do this daily and often several times a day. I have seen women 
with the earthen pots — ^ — one on top of the other, balanced on 
the head walking unconcernedly along. Occasionally they would take an 
additional one under the arm. 


An and Bhawan 
8/2 

I have come here by plane. It took an hour and twenty minutes and 
saved me a long and very tiring railway journey. The house is empty 
and very silent. As I returned rather unexpectedly no one has been to 
see me. 

Sarojini Naidu suggested that I might send you the enclosed cutting 
of my speech at Dera Ismail Khan. 7 She gave me the cutting- So I 

enclose it. 

A brief note from you has met me here. 

Love, 

Your loving 
Papu 


7. See Selected Works, Vol. 8, pp. 473-476. 


451 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


6. To Indira Nehru 1 * 

Allahabad 

12.2.38 

Darling, 

I had not intended writing to you again before leaving for Haripura 
but a letter from you has come and this has induced me to send a few 
lines. Not that there is anything demanding a reply in your letter. 

Very soon I shall be on my way to Haripura. I am not in the best of 
condition as I have caught a cold and my head is heavy and the throat 
very sore. I feel more like a horse than a human being. The work at 
the Congress is likely to be exacting as we are on the verge of crises 
here. May be by the time you get this Puphi might have ceased to be 
minister. I do not know definitely yet but the chances of a break increase. 
I note that you have decided in favour 4 of history. 

Edward Thompson is a curious person. I think he is honest but he is 
terribly nervy and pessimistic and so gets on other people’s nerves. He 
has fallen out with the British in India and with the Indians of course. 
He is looked upon with suspicion by most people. The first time I met 
him — were you with me in Oxford then? — I quarrelled with him. Later 
he gave me a very fine review of my Autobiography in The Observer. I 
think it was the best review of the book, although others were more 
laudatory. It showed insight. That review and the book! brought us nearer 
to each other. When I met him here he irritated me greatly but the 
irritation did not go to anger for I saw how unhappy he was. 

And so you missed the aurora borealis ~ 

Love, 

Papu 

I am having some of our Congress publications sent by you. 

1. Indira Gandhi Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. The northern lights. 


7. To Indira Nehru 1 


Bombay 

27.2.38 

Darling, 

I have not written to you for an age it seems — to be accurate for about 


1. Indira Gandhi Papers, N.M.M.L. Nehru, along with other members of the 

Congress Working Committee, reached Bombay on 23 February 1938. 


452 


APPENDIX 


a fortnight. It has been a full time of course with the Haripura Congress 
& the ministerial crisis but I would have found time to write if I had 
not felt rather out of sorts all this time. I brought a cold with me to 
Haripura and this grew worse because of incessant speaking and swal- 
lowing vast quantities of dust. Haripura was an impressive camp stretch- 
ing out for nearly three miles on the banks of the river Tapti. It was a 
bamboo city with a full water supply, electric light and other city con- 
veniences. But a violent duststorm lasting two days nearly suffocated 
us all. 

From Haripura I came here five days ago and tonight I am going 
back to the U.P. — to Lucknow first and then to Allahabad. My throat 
and cold are a little better. I am writing this in some haste a little 
before the train goes. 

You must have learnt about the ministerial crisis in the UP. and 
Bihar. 2 The ministers sent in their resignations. The Viceroy, meaning 
the British Government, have climbed down almost completely and the 
ministers have gone back to their jobs. The Congress position has been 
greatly strengthened. 

I have to give you some bad news. Jal Naoroji is suffering from fairly 
advanced tuberculosis. For over a month he has been in hospital and no- 
body suspected T.B. And now they have suddenly discovered that he is an 
advanced case. My faith in doctors is lessening day by day. 

I shall write to you more from Lucknow. 

Love, 

Your loving 
Papu 

2. The Congress Ministries in the U.P. and Bihar resigned on 15 February 1938 
on the issue of release of political prisoners, but resumed office after reaching 
an understanding with the respective Governors. See also Selected Works, 
Vol. 8, pp. 378-380. 


8. To Indira Nehru 1 


Lucknow 
March 2, 1938 


Darling Indu, 

Your letters await me I suppose in Allahabad and so for long I have not 
received any. I am still on my way and Lucknow is a halting place only. 


1. Indira Gandhi Papers, N.M.M.L. 


453 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


For two days I have been here, resting partly and attending some com- 
mittee meetings. I am gradually getting over my cold and tiredness. For 
a while I feared that something like last year’s illness might be repeated 
but I am sure now that this will not happen. The doctor has thumped 
and patted me all over and pronounced me generally fit. What is more 
to the point I feel much better already. I intend having my fortnight at 
Khali soon — probably from the 10th to the 25th March — and I expect to 
return to the plains bursting with energy- 

About my going to Europe everything is vague and uncertain, except 
my desire to go there and see you. But the story has gone round and 
everyone asks me about it. It is a tiring business to have to answer the 
same question over and over again. By the time I have decided finally 
there will probably be no berth left! But that is a minor matter and is 
not likely to keep me back. It may perhaps delay my departure and make 
me take the full taste of the monsoon. 

When in Bombay I spent a morning with Jamnalalji at Juhu. He arrang- 
ed for horses and I had a gallop on the sands — so did Raja but with little 
success as he had a fall. Then we all had a swim in the sea, or at least 
those who could swim, the others not venturing far. I managed to get 
hold of a Lilo air bed and it was delightful to float about on it. I remem- 
bered that the last sea bath I had had was at Port Dickson with you. 

Another unusual experience in Bombay was a visit to Elephanta. Long 
long ago 1 had gone there when I was a child and I had forgotten, all 
about it. Always when I go to Bombay my days are so crowded that I 
find no time for excursions. This time I was luckier. Taken as a whole 
I was disappointed in the caves. I expected a greater richness and variety. 
There were three or four fine figures— a bashful Parvati 2 3 on her wedding 
day and some dwarpals . 8 But the Trimurti 4 was magnificent and over- 
powering. That head with the wisdom and thought of ages behind it, as- 
cetic and yet so sophisticated and full of the knowledge of life, unattach- 
ed and unentangled and yet enveloping all that came within its ken, calm 
and with an astonishing strength. I thought of the Rock of Ages, how 
appropriate in a way it was; but that too only described one aspect of it. 
My mind wandered to the sculptors who had wrought this wondrous thing 
in ages past, seemingly with their hands but really with the genius which 
filled their minds. How long did it take them? Was it the work of one 
generation or more? As I stood there gazing in wonderment I felt very 
trivial and commonplace before this majesty in stone. Silent and contem- 
plative I returned to my launch. 

2. The consort of Shiva. 

3. Gatekeepers. 

4. The three-faced deity. 


454 


APPENDIX 


Tara and Rita have had their tonsils taken out. They came back from 
hospital yesterday and are still in the quiet and icy stage. In Bombay Dr. 
Shah asked me about your throat and I discovered what a careless father 
I was. I had never asked you about it? Have you had any throat trouble? 
Colds or sore throats or anything else which might be traceable to the 
removal of the tonsils? 

Love, 

Your loving 
Papu 


9. To Indira Nehru 1 

Lucknow 

9.3.38 

Darling Indu, 

I arrived here this morning to find Mehr Taj ill in bed. The poor girl has a 
thin time in school and is not properly looked after. She came to Nan a 
few days ago looking ghastly. When her temperature was taken it was 
found that she had fairly high fever. She had also hurt her knee running. 
She is now getting better. It has been a great thing for her that she could 
come to visit Nan and the children every Sunday during the past few 
months. Otherwise she would have been completely isolated. Her people 
seldom write to her. The Pathan does not believe in reading or writing. 

The ministerial crisis ended on the very terms that we had been asking. 
It was a complete come-down for the British Government. Of course the 
language used was round about and diplomatic as is always the case. We 
had decided that if the crisis continued we would ask the other ministries 
to resign also. To do so right at the beginning would have been unwise 
and it would have made it impossible for the Viceroy to climb down 
as he did eventually. 

I met Joad 2 in London. His writings are interesting but he seemed to 
me one of those persons who are so ineffective and disillusioned with 
everything and everybody. 

Some people have come to see me and so 1 must go off. 


1. Indira Gandhi Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2 CEM. Joad (1891-1953); British philosopher and author of several booKs 
including Common Sense Ethics (1921) and The Testament of Joad (1937). 


455 


SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAIIARLAL NEHRU 


10, To Indira Nehru 1 


Khali 

March 11, 1938 

Darling Indu, 

So at last I have come to Khali. 2 For more than two years there has been 
talk about it and during this period I have wandered a good deal all over 
India. But Khali, in my own province and not difficult of access, still 
remained outside my track. I remember just three years ago when Ranjit 
and I discussed the proposal of acquiring Khali in Almora jail. 3 He had 
come to pay me a visit. At that time I was thinking of some such place 
where Mummie might be able to live during the summer for it was 
obvious that she could not stay in the plains even if she recovered. 

I have been here just a day and a night and the weather has not been 
as good as it might be. I have not seen the snows yet from Khali because 
of the clouds and there has been some rain. But already I am enchanted 
with the place. I like the situation of the house on a hill-top. To the east 
and west there are deep valleys winding away with streaks of water shin- 
ing in the sunlight. To the north-east there is Binsar hill dominating the 
neighbourhood. To the north there is the snow range which I have not 
seen yet. The house itself is a solid neatly built structure, not very big 
but big enough for half a dozen persons to live in comfort. There are 
plenty of small cottages and outhouses. Round about are stately deodars 
and pines and oak trees and two magnificent eucalyptus trees. I had never 
seen such huge eucalyptus trees before. Among the trees the pines pre- 
dominate and they give the peculiar and pleasant pine smell. But for 
stateliness it is difficult to beat the deodar and the whisper of the wind 
as it passes through them is extraordinarily soothing. 

Ranjit has worked hard here during the past two years and more. It 
was jungle when he came and the house was full of bats and hardly 
habitable. There was lack of water. The sole use that Jamnalalji, who 
owned the place previously, found for the trees was to cut them down. 
The cut stumps of fine old deodar trees are mute witness to the tragedy, so 
also other stumps here and there. 

Now the jungle has been cleared off and a farm and orchard have 
taken their place. There is prospect of green fields with the growing crops 
swaying gracefully in the wind. Hundreds of fruit trees arc dotted about 

1. Indira Gandhi Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. Nehru stayed at Khali, Almora, from 10 to 26 March 1938. See also Selected 
Works, Vol. 8, pp. 873-876. 

3. See Selected Works, Vol. 6, p. 348. 


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and there must be dozens of varieties of good fruits. Just at present many 
of these trees are bare for they have not wholly recovered from the win- 
ter. But already some are full of bloom, notably the peach trees and apri- 
cots. The peach flowers are a mass of purple or rather mauve. Little birds 
are peeping out of the other fruit trees and probably within two or three 
weeks they will also be in full bloom. And in the summer they will have 
ripe rich fruit hanging in abundance from the branches. There will be 
apples and pears, peaches and apricots, oranges and tangarines, grapes 
and cherries, plums and mulberries, strawberries and raspberries, pumeloes 
and pomegranates, walnuts and almonds, chestnuts and persimmons — what 
a list! Imagine living in this abundance and I have not exhausted the list — 
for instance there ara greengages and nectarines also and probably some 
others I cannot remember. All these fruits will not appear this year but 
a good number will. Many of the trees have been obtained from Kashmir 
and even foreign countries and are specially selected varieties. 

The farm contains — wheat, barley, oats, rice, Indian com, bajra, pea- 
nuts — — and some varieties of local grains. 

Of the flowers I shall not give a list — It would be far too long. Just 
at present it is too early for most of them. But in April they will be in 
all their glory and will form brilliant and vivid patches of colour all 
round the house. Apart from the ordinary annuals there are special varie- 
ties of rose creepers, wistaria, Kashmir varieties of lilac and dahlias and 
gladioli and iris and daffodils and wall-flowers. There are innumerable 
other varieties — The daffodils are out now and put up a brave show. 
The acacias are also in full bloom. I imagine that before I go down in 
a fortnight many more flowers will come out. 

Among the new trees Ranjit has planted Kashmir chenars and poplars. 

It is fascinating to go round the garden and farm with Ranjit. He takes 
a personal and individual interest in almost each tree and flowering plant. 
He tends it and watches it grow like a child. I remembered what a vast 
difference it makes if one personally takes this interest in a garden. In 
Almora prison every plant was a friend of mine whose fortunes I fol- 
lowed with a certain degree of excitement. It w r as a great thing to see 
the new buds shoot forth and peep out into a new world- They had their 
own way of looking round, just as human babies have. Some were bright 
and alert, some quite impish, some dull. Every morning and evening I 
visited every plant and noted the changes that w r ere taking place and I 
knew exactly the number of flowers even that each plant had. I had a 
small garden of course and Ranjit has a fine expanse. But his love for 
flowers and trees is fascinating and delightful. 

The lack of water here has been remedied by hard labour and a simple 
contrivance which pumps up the little water which trickles from a spring 


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below. There is now there a good water supply in the house. Soon there 
will be other improvements — electric light from a small motor or perhaps 
generated from power taken from the wind. And so on and so forth. 

There is another aspect of Khali which Ranjit has developed. Wool- 
spinning has been organised and a number of persons sit here all day 
spinning away. About a hundred of them in the surrounding villages take 
the wool to their homes to spin and bring it back. There is fine spinning 
and I see no reason why good pashminas should not be made here.. Soon 
weaving will begin. The local government has taken over charge of this 
spinning and weaving. 

A school for children is in prospect 

Then there is bee-keeping and we get good honey, and cattle and a 
poultry farm. 

Altogether this is an enchanting place with any number of pleasant 
walks under the pines and excursions to places nearby — Binsar is a 
famous place for its view of the snows and this is only 2i miles from 
here. A longer excursion is to the Pindari glacier — six days easy march- 
Even Kailas and Manasarovar seem easy of access. The journey can be 
done in two weeks one way, though this would be hard going. Three 
weeks is the usual time taken. 

I have told you all about Khali now — or a great deal about it. Enough 
at least to make you want to come here. Of course we shall come together 
some day. 

Perhaps y^ur Easter vacations will be soon upon you. You told me 
that you intended seeing England. Certainly do so. But I would suggest 
that as a rule it would be worthwhile to go to the continent for the vaca- 
tions. You will anyhow get quite enough of the English atmosphere and 
tend to become unaware, rather insular, as I did- It is desirable to see the 
world from other spectacles and other points of view. Also that is the 
only time you will have to keep up foreign languages. Easter is not a 
bad time for the south of France. 

Love, 

Your loving 
Papu 


11. To Indira Nehru 1 


Khali 

15.3.1938 


Darling Indu, 

Lying in the sun here, imbibing warmth and energy, I allow my mind to 


1. Indira Gandhi Papers, N.M.M.L. 


458 


APPENDIX 


wander. For the moment I am far from the daily work and worry, al- 
though some of it pursues me here. I can afford to think of other matters 
and to dream a little- So I evolved plans of your meeting me at my land- 
ing place — Venice or Genoa. From there we might go to Vienna and 
then, why not?, Budapest. Having gone thus far it seemed a pity not to 
go a few steps further to Istanbul. But it was rather far. Anyway 
Prague was indicated and from there to Munich to have another look at 
the Deutsches museum. To Switzerland then and Paris and England. That 
was one route. Others vaguely impressed themselves on my mind. It was 
pleasant to form these airy programmes. Another bright idea struck me. 
Why should I not return to India via Russia, Tadzhikistan and Afghanistan! 

Foolish fancies! Even in this remote place news has reached of Hitler’s 
coup in Austria and all my peace and quiet have vanished and the re- 
laxation given place to tension. Is it war? Or if not right now, when will 
it begin and drown the world in blood and ruins? What will happen to 
you and me when this comes? Will I have news of you? We do not get 


newspapers here regularly. They come irregularly two or three days after 
issue. For aught I know the fatal step might have been taken. But whe- 
ther itj has been taken already or not, we live on the brink of it, and the 
making of programmes seems folly. I suppose I shall not know till the 
last few days definitely whether I am going to Europe. But I will go un- 
less some insuperable attack intervenes. 

Meanwhile I take the sun and have my fill of the snows and the 
mountains. 

I find from one of your letters that your term ends on June 20th. 
When is it possible to meet me, at the earliest, in Paris or in Venice? 
This will give me some idea and I can draw up my programme accord- 
ingly- 2 3 4 

I do not know how you have been keeping. I think you ought to take 
yourself in hand scientifically and get rid of your minor ailments. They 
are not inevitable, and it is foolish to become a slave to them. There is 
nothing radically wrong with you, as the doctors have frequently said. 
But you are not strong enough and this means that your powers of resist- 
ance to disease and infection are not adequate. Perhaps you have inherit- 
ed this lack of resisting power from Mummie. Let us recognise it and 

provide for it. 3 

Do you know that my grandfather died young probably of I-B. bo 
also one of my aunts* (father’s sister). When Dadu was bom there was 
fear of his getting T.B. He never got it largely because he made up his 


2. Nehru was in Europe from June to November 1938. 

3. Nehru’s grandfather, Ganga Dhar, died in 1861. 

4. The reference is probably to Patrani. 

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mind not to. From boyhood up he looked after his health, took exercise 
&c. And so he developed a remarkably fine constitution. He suffered a 
great deal from asthma but this did not touch his strong constitution and 
almost to the last he was strong and generally healthy. I was a weak 
and rather sickly child and had numerous ailments during my infancy and 
childhood. Later I kept good health and for a long term of years I was 
not seriously ill. All the time I was at Harrow, Cambridge and London 
I never had occasion to consult a doctor except once when I was hurt 
at football and another time for my baldness! This was partly due, I 
suppose, to having inherited a good constitution from Dadu, but partly 
also 1 to my care of myself. By care I do not mean a morbid interest in 
my body- I never had that. But I did follow some simple rules of health 
— exercise, good sleep, simple food, for the rest as much work as I liked. 
Some people imagine that I am neglectful of myself and are full of good 
advice. As a matter of fact I have stood the strain of heavy work, gaol 
&c. of the last 18 years remarkably well and I am far fittter today than 
many of my old friends who have lived an easy and comfortable life 
and have swallowed innumerable pills and concoctions. I have kept well 
because I continued to follow my* simple rules — they become a habit — 
and never worried about myself or took to medicine. Also I can adapt 
myself to changing circumstances, like gaol &c. I have worked very hard 
but, curiously enough, I have succeeded in benefiting both mentally and 
physically from the changes that have come my way. I suppose there is a 
psychological reason for this as they fitted in with my mood and so did 
not oppress me as they might have done. But there is the simple and 
somewhat disciplined life also. 

All this long account may bore you. But I want you to think about 
the matter and lay the foundations for good health and vitality. Do not 
rely too much on medicines &c. Of course sometimes one has to take 
them. Do not bother about your body. But just get into the habit of fol- 
lowing some rules. 

Three things you must do. 1. Keep your bowels functioning and do not 
get constipated. Laxatives are no good except in emergencies. It is food 
and exercise that should help. 

2. Accustom yourself to good breathing. This is very important and very 
few people realise it. Good breathing means a continuous purification of 
the blood and so the whole system is being toned up. For you specially 
this is important as you should strengthen your lungs. No complicated 
exercises arc necessary. Just two. Quick breathing in and out for a short 
while, as you might have seen me do, and regular long breaths in and out 
slowly taken. You can do this for a few minutes any time. But early in 


460 


APPENDIX 


tha morning ori rising, and also before retiring for the night, you should 
do this. 


3. Keep your body flexible — It is flexible now because of your youth 
but it is surprising how soon it stiffens if you do not take care. So take 
some easy stretching exercises and some for the abdomen which will help 
in digestion &c. Stretch as you like. 

It seems rather silly for a normal human being to take these artificial 
exercises. But then none of us leads a normal life in the modern world. 
We are! highly artificial and so we must make up for this. 

I would not advise you to do the shirshasana. But you should do the 
sarvangasana regularly. This is a wonderful exercise for the backbone 
and for toning up. Your backbone is weak- Do not do it for too long 
and don’t feel tired after it. It is better to do it several times for a minute 
each. Also try to do the abdomen exercise which you have seen me do. 

smr faw^TT ;?rt ap: i <r^r 

— forc strV ^tttt zvx — far writ ate — fore srft 5re t ^ ^ 

— fo^ qfar 1 1 8 

If you do these simple exercised in the morning you will feel the better 
for them. At night before retiring, you will sleep well. But do them all 
gently and do not overstrain or tire yourself. A little regularly done is 
quite enough. Ten or fifteen minutes in the morning and five minutes at 
night are quite enough. In any event do not forget the breathing which 
should be done in fresh air. 

What a curious place Europe is getting! There is hardly room for a 
decent person in large parts of it. Gunther when he was here asked me 
if I had selected a quiet comer for myself to provide for the day when 
the world was overrun by fascism! I thought of Khali immediately. But 

there are no safe refuges for the likes of us. 

I enclose a small note 6 for Madan Bhai. Please send it to him. I do 


not know his address. 
All my love, 


Your loving 
Papu 


Mridula and Bharati are coming here tomorrow. After spending a few 
days here they will take a house in Almora for a month or so. Mridula 
has overworked herself at the Haripura Congress and is unwell. She was 
the head of the women volunteers — 800 strong- 


5 . 


6 . 


Breathe out, pull the abdomen inside bending forward a little so *** ; 1 ls 
stiffened. First only inside and outside— then only to the left side en y 
to the right side — then alternately to the right and left sides then move e 
abdomen in a kind of circle so that it gets automatically massaged. 

Not available. 


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12. To Indira Nehru 1 2 


Almora 

27.3.38 

Darling Indu, 

It is some days since I wrote to you. And now my holiday in the hills 
has ended and I am on my way down. It has been a good holiday and 
I feel the better for it. If outside news had not come to interfere with my 
peace of mind, it would have been a perfect holiday. There was the news 
of Austria and Spain and all over Europe. There were the communal 
conflicts and, in particular, the riot at Allahabad 3 which was peculiarly 
brutal. But I have survived these occurrences and return in better form 
than I have been for a long time. It is true that no amount of physical 
rest can relieve the mind of its burdens and worries. 

I came down from Khali today. On the way we stopped to see the 
Brewsters who live on the outskirts of Almora. Do you remember Brew- 
ster who accompanied Dhan Gopal Mukherji in 1930 and stopped at our 
home? He is an artist and a Buddhist scholar. At his home we met 
Mrs. Peurose, a French woman who is a dancer and a great admirer of 
Indian spirituality. She is a friend of Madame Morin. 

We are now spending the night with Bosi and Gertrude Sen. Perhaps you 
remember them also. He is a scientist and she is an ex-editor of Asia 
and is an American. Their house is perfectly appointed and it is soothing 
tot stay in such a place. 

In my last letter I sent you a deal of advice on matters pertaining to 
health. Here is another tip. Put a little butter in each of your nostrils 
and sniff it up. This had better be done at night before going to bed. 
This is excellent and prevents colds as it greases the passages. 

I am going to Lucknow — then to Allahabad and Calcutta. 3 

I am feeling frightfully sleepy. 

Love, 


Papu 


1. Indira Gandhi Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. The army had to be called in to control the situation. 

3. Nehru visited Calcutta to attend the Congress Working Committee meeting 
from 1 to 6 April 1938. 


462 


APPENDIX 


13. To Indira Nehru 1 

Allahabad 

8.4.38 

Darling, 

You are becoming a confirmed Londoner and even in your holidays you 
stick to London. I have myself a partiality for London but then I have 
a partiality for so many places. I rather regret now all the time I spent 
in London during my student days. I wish I had visited other places then. 
The chance does not come often in after life. 

I am beginning to get invitations for week-end parties in England. I 
think I wrote to you that Stafford Cripps had asked me to his country- 
house. Lothian has now invited you and me and reminded me again that 
his country-house is one of the most beautiful houses in England. Krishna 
Menon will probably object to my going to Lothian. He is one of his 
antipathies. I dislike his politics also but I see no reason why I should 
not visit him and meet some interesting people. But all this is in the air 
as I refuse to fix up any date for my departure. I do not usually function 
in, this way but somehow I like playing about with this idea. I suppose I 
had better fix things up soon. 

Between the P & O and the Lloyd Triestino there is not much to choose 
and yet I suppose the latter is preferable. The Conte Rosso sails from 
Bombay on 14th June and reaches Venice on the 25th. These dates 
would suit me. It is difficult for me to leave earlier and — another advant- 
age — the off-season fares begin on the 14th. There will be the monsoon 
but that is a trivial affair. 

In. one of my letters I had suggested that you might meet me in Venice 
and we might wander a little on the continent. But Agatha writes that if 
I go to London late in July most people will be away. It might thus be 
desirable for me to go more or less direct to England, perhaps just break- 
ing journey in Paris for a day. If so it will hardly be worthwhile for you 
to go to Venice. I have asked Krishna Menon about it. 

I am enclosing a little essay I wrote last night. 2 It has been sent to 
The Modern Review. Will you pass it on to Krishna Menon after you 
have read it? He is collecting such oddments. 

Love, 

Your loving 

Papu 

1. Indira Gandhi Papers, N.M.M.L. 

2. Escape. See Selected Works, Vol. 8. pp. 873-876. 

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14. To Indira Nehru 1 


Allahabad 

13 . 4.38 


Darling Indu, 

The people of Allahabad have been distinguishing themselves by break- 
ing each other’s heads and sometimes stabbing each other. Or at any rate 
a few of them have done so and nearly all the rest have sat tight in their 
homes, shivering with fright. It has not been a pleasant sight. There was 
a recrudescence of communal trouble three days ago and I have spent 
all my time in walking up and down the narrow lanes of Allahabad city. 
Fortunately normality has almost been restored. 

1 am now thinking of sailing on June 2nd and reaching Genoa on the 
14th. But this is not settled yet. As soon as it is I shall send a cable to 
Krishna. I suppose I had better go almost straight to England, but I would 
like to spend a day in Paris en route. Your term will still be on and so 
you will not be able to meet me anywhere except perhaps in London. 
One of the reasons which induces me to reach England earlier is to see 
you at Oxford in term time. 

I cannot say anything about the length of my stay in Europe. I take 
it, it will be about 2i months apart from the voyage from, and to India. 
I might spend 3 weeks in England to begin with and a fortnight later. 
About my programme Krishna had better take charge but you might 
have a look in. I do not like the idea of touring about delivering speeches. 
I have had enough of this kind of thing here. Of course I shall have to 
do a little speaking in any event, but the less of it the better. 

Krishna had better fix up my place of stay also in London. Anywhere 
will do but I must say I am not frightfully enamoured of the medieval 
atmosphere of artillery mansion. I suppose Mount Royal also is not de- 
sirable. But really it does not matter much where I go. 

There is no chance, or hardly any, of Puphi accompanying me to 
Europe. 

Love, 


Papu 


1. Indira Gandhi Papers, N.M.M.L. 


464 


APPENDIX 


15. To Indira Nehru 1 


Allahabad 

304.38 


Indu darling, 

Your letter of the 23rd has just come. I wrote to you last night and sent 
you a cheque. Money must have been cashed to you also today. I am 
sorry you were inconvenienced for lack of funds. 

Latin seems to be your weak; spot. It is a nuisance to have to carry 
on with it and I hope that after mods are done with finally you will have 
no more Latin examination. Your failing to pass does not matter much 
as you can easily get through it at the end of term. But I am sorry for 
it as this means an additional burden on you this term. Fortunately the 
term is a short ono and you will soon be rid of the burden. 

Your Latin examination might affect my programme. Agatha suggests 
that I should loiter somewhere on the continent till you are free. She 
further suggests that you might come over to Paris after your examina- 
tion and meet me there and spend two or three days quietly in Paris. 
Agatha is optimistic if she imagines that I shall have much quiet in Paris. 
Still the idea is not bad if you approve of it. I seem to remember how- 
ever that Stafford Cripps wanted me to go for a week-end to his country- 
house about the 25th June. Nothing was fixed up as my programme was un- 
certain. Now that I am going by the earlier boat Krishna will probably 
want me to accept Stafford Cripps’ invitation. Anyway it is for you and 
Krishna to decide when I am to reach London — I shall loiter about on the 
continent if that is required of me. From Genoa I can go to Riviera 
or to Paris. You will let me know- 

I am not surprised at your feeling strongly about Lothian. I feel more 
or less the same way. I know about the Cliveden set 2 and Lothian s pro- 
fascist and pro-Hitler activities. I think they are dangerous. But still after 
careful consideration I decided to accept his invitation. In effect I had 
done so over two years ago and I had repeated my acceptance later. It 
is a long-standing promise and I do not want to break it. But I would 
have refused in spite of that old promise if I had been convinced that it 
was the wrong thing for me to do. I happen to be something more than 
a prominent leader of a group o